The Pakistan Super League (PSL) had given the fans a lot to cheer about. The supporters were excited to see the biggest stars in action and were all the more frenzied to see young cricketers develop into potential superstars.
However, that excitement was extremely short-lived as following the conclusion of the PSL, Shahid Afridi’s men got knocked out of the Asia Cup T20 after losing to hosts Bangladesh in Dhaka.
Shaharyar promises team will be held accountable for Asia Cup debacle
It might be argued that the umpiring, which was arguably one of the worst to be seen in recent times, and substandard pitches contributed to the Men in Green’s exit, but if we look at the team’s performance holistically, it is clear that they were not major factors — or the only factors.
Frankly put, there is no harmony between head coach Waqar Younis, skipper Shahid Afridi and the selectors, which led to various haphazard decisions in the team selection. Waqar insisted on axing Ahmed Shehzad for the Asia Cup and World T20 squads and brought in batsman Khurram Manzoor, who got exposed.
While all three stakeholders were on the same page when the team selection was finalised, Waqar’s recent statements that the selection committee did not ask for his input are unjustified.
It is rightly said that success has many fathers, while failure has none.
Following Pakistan’s dismal performance in the Asia Cup, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan formed an inquiry committee to look into the debacle, but the question that bothers fans is why only the players, the management, the selectors or the captains are held accountable? Why do they come under fire and the PCB officials, who are responsible for their appointments, walk away unscathed?
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Forming committees hardly ever solve the problem and the PCB chairman needs to get involved in the issue as actively as his current obsession of playing a bi-lateral series against India.
The time has come for some action and the PCB officials should be held accountable in addition to the usual suspects as there are many within the PCB who are not up to the task, with team manager Intikhab Alam, U19 team manager Zakir Khan and Cricket Committee head Shakil Sheikh at the forefront.
The trio have been with the PCB for a long time and have been moved back and forth within the board, but despite them not delivering much, they never face repercussions.
Shakil has failed to improve the standard of cricket in the country, something that he was appointed to do, while Zakir allegedly forced the U19 captain and coach to bat first in the quarter-final against West Indies despite overnight rain.
The same can be said of Waqar, who has been able to keep his job despite the national team falling to unprecedented lows in ODI and T20I cricket.
Special committee formed to evaluate Asia Cup disaster: PCB
Pakistan cricket will never improve unless PCB officials keep on finding sacrificial lambs. If the players, management, selectors and captains are the only ones whose jobs come under scrutiny every time Pakistan does not perform well, then Pakistan cricket will never move forward.
It’s time the PCB should take a long, hard look at itself and do a bit of soul-searching of its own.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2016.
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