What did former players say on Pakistan's World Cup exit?

Karachi, March 21: From disappointment to anger to a sense of deja vu, reactions were mixed and myriad as Pakistan's cricket fraternity came to terms with the national team's ICC World Cup exit after a comprehensive loss to Australia in the quarter-finals in Adelaide.

World Cup Special; Semi-final schedule

"It is a pity that Misbah even after remaining captain for five years couldn't decide upon his squad properly for the World Cup. This is what let us down today," former captain and batsman, Muhammad Yousuf said.

File photo: Misbah plays a shot against Zimbabwe at World Cup

"One would have thought that for such an important event Misbah and the selectors would have been clear about the players they wanted. But on the contrary we had two players going for the World Cup Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan who were not even named in the original 30 member preliminary squad," he said.

Yousuf called for a clean start in the aftermath of the World Cup and said the government should bring about widespread changes in the Pakistan Cricket Board. He said some Pakistani batsmen had technical faults which were exposed in the mega-event.

Former Test captain Aamir Sohail had no doubt that Pakistan were good enough only to reach the quarterfinals and not go beyond that. "Let us be honest this team was capable of only reaching the quarter finals and this defeat is not a surprise. The batting let us down even though we won the toss. Some of the shot selection was atrocious and there was no game plan from our batters," Sohail said.

The former Test opener, who has also remained chief selector, felt the board should now start building a new team and appoint wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed as the new captain for ODIs. Former Test captain, Rashid Latif said some of the decisions taken by the management cost the team.

'Selection decisions were strange'

"The management made crucial mistakes and that coupled with injuries to key players really hit us hard," Latif said. He said the management had wasted Sarfraz and senior batsman Younis Khan in the tournament and not used them properly.

"Some of the selection decisions were strange to me. Definitely when the team returns home the board needs to sit down and plan well for the future," Latif said.

Latif also made it clear that it was wrong to blame the Pakistan cricket system for the defeat. "Don't blame the system blame the individuals who take these wrong decisions."

Former Test pacer Sikander Bakht felt that after the World Cup Misbah and Shahid Afridi should both take retirement from all forms of the game. "I would say thank you very much to both of them as it is time to now build for the future with young players."

Former Test spinner Abdul Qadir said two factors hurt the team's World Cup campaign badly. "The selection of the team was not fair and secondly during the tournament, the playing XIs were also not selected on merit and sensibly and it hurt the team."

'Batsmen let us down'

Pakistan's champion spinner Saeed Ajmal, who missed out on the World Cup due to an illegal bowling action, blamed the batsmen for the defeat.

"The batsmen let us down badly and the shot selection by some of them was horrific. I don't know what Umar Akmal or Sohaib Maqsood did and even Afridi should have hung on for a while," he said.

He said in the end the Australians handled the pressure better. Former Test pacer, Sarfraz Nawaz claimed that the board was to blame for the defeat as the management had requested them to send Junaid Khan and Saeed Ajmal on PCB expenses to Australia.

"The team management wanted these two players to remain in Australia with the team and train with them so that one of them could replace Muhammad Irfan immediately but the PCB refused to send the players.

"When the board can squander money on useless projects why did they object to something which was good for the team."

Sarfraz also called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to sack the board officials and appoint new people.


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