Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi criticised the governing body for not supporting the team and its management ‘the way it should be”.
Sethi, while speaking to sources in London, said, “Everyone is disappointed at the way team has performed in the World Cup but one shouldn’t press the panic button.”
“The PCB isn’t supporting the team and management the way it should be. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, coach Mickey Arthur and at least two other players are insecure about their future,” he said, pointing out that it is the job of the board to keep the team united, Geo News reported.
He went on to criticise the body for issuing a statement on the team’s performance mid-tournament ─ an apparent reference to a PCB press release issued yesterday, in which the body had said it would review and analyse the side’s and team support personnel’s performance over the last three years.
Sethi was also critical of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweets prior to the highly anticipated match against India on June 16, saying that the former World Cup-winning cricket captain should not have given guidance in public.
“No matter how much cricket one has played, a prime minister shouldn’t be saying things to a captain publicly. If he had to say anything to him, he should have conveyed it to him privately,” Sethi asserted, according to the Geo News report.
“It brought Sarfaraz under unnecessary pressure and criticism for not listening to the advice,” he explained.
The skipper appears to be bearing the brunt of the criticism at home, with questions raised over his fitness and leadership qualities since the disappointing 89-run loss to India ─ Pakistan’s seventh straight loss to India at a World Cup.
The team selection against India was also heavily criticised, both on social media and on dozens of talk shows. The side had opted to go with two regular spinners even though India’s batsmen have dominated slow bowlers in international cricket.
Sarfaraz getting caught on camera yawning on two occasions while keeping wicket hasn’t gone down too well, either.
After three losses, Pakistan are in next-to-last place in the 10-team standings, ahead of only Afghanistan. The position is similar to the one in which the Pakistan found themselves in 1992, when the team had three points from their first five matches.
Then skipper Imran Khan’s so-called ‘cornered tigers’ had gone on to win their three remaining league matches in the 1992 World Cup, sneaked into the semi-finals after West Indies lost to Australia in the last league-round fixture, defeated New Zealand and then beat England in the final.
Although this team has a reputation for unpredictability, there seems a slim chance of anything like that happening again.