FACING the ire of critics and fans alike, the Pakistan cricket team found an ally in former captain Moin Khan, who believes the 1992 champions did not have a disastrous World Cup campaign despite standing on the verge of ouster. Pakistan’s hopes of sealing a semi-final berth were trampled when arch-rivals India and New Zealand lost to England, leaving the road to the knockout stage for Sarfaraz Ahmed and his men just an improbable mathematical calculation. They will take on Bangladesh in their final group stage match at the iconic Lord’s in London on Friday.
“Look if we win against Bangladesh we would end the World Cup with five wins out of nine with one match abandoned which is not a bad performance by my standards. “So, whatever the PCB does it needs to think very carefully because just changing faces or positions will not help,” Moin said. Pakistan have won five games out of the eight matches with one game being a washout. They suffered heavy defeats at the hands India, Australia and the West Indies which spoiled their run-rate. Citing the example of reigning champions Australia and their impressive turnaround, former Test batsman Basit Ali said professionalism and accountability is the need of the hour for Pakistan cricket.
“Australia till recently were being badly bruised and beaten at home by India and see how they staged a comeback and are now top of the World Cup points table. We need that sort of professionalism, planning, and accountability of players and coaches in our system,” Ali said. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already announced that its revamped cricket committee will hold a robust inquiry into the team’s performances in the last three years before making recommendations to the Chairman for action. Shoaib is disappointed FORMER Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar has been left utterly disappointed with the “quality of cricket” being played at the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales.
England, Australia and India have sealed their spot in the semi-finals, while New Zealand is almost there in the knockout stage of the tournament, despite their loss to England in their last group stage encounter. “I am not happy with the quality of cricket being played in this World Cup,” said Akhtar on his Youtube channel. “The quality of cricket has gone down immensely. It has become very easy to score runs. The bowlers don’t have the quality, the pace and the spin, which bowlers in 1990s and early 2000s used to have. “There are three powerplays and two new balls which has made it very easy to score runs,” he added. Speaking about Wednesday’s game where England thrashed New Zealand by 119 runs to seal their spot in the semis, Akhtar said that the Black Caps played like “amateurs”.
“I was disappointed with the way New Zealand played against England. They didn’t give any fight and meekly surrendered before England. They played like amateurs. They didn’t play quality cricket,” said Akhtar. With England’s win, Pakistan are technically out of the contention of making it to the semis. In order to make it to the knockout stage, Pakistan needed India or New Zealand to defeat England in their last two matches. However, it didn’t happen. Akhtar, 43, feels Pakistan have no one to blame but themselves for their disappointing campaign in this edition of the World Cup. “The match against West Indies cost us badly.
Then their match against Sri Lanka got abandoned. After that, they lost the game to Australia which they should have won. These three matches made it very difficult for Pakistan. They themselves have got out of the tournament. Nobody else is responsible for their loss.” He, however, wants Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men to play for their pride against Bangladesh in their last group stage fixture at Lord’s on Friday. “All is not lost still. We have to play for our pride against Bangladesh. Pakistan have to make sure they don’t get humiliated and therefore they should play good cricket against Bangladesh,” he insisted.