Curtains for Team Pakistan?

Editorial June 11, 2024


Defeat is one thing, humiliation another. It was embarrassing — tearful for too many — to see Team Pakistan succumb in the pursuit of a paltry total, just 120 runs, in the crunch T20 World Cup game against arch-rivals India in New York on Sunday. The Green Shirts — well, all of them — literally struggled to use long handle on a surface which, according to skipper Babar Azam, was pretty decent for batting. In a day and age where two runs a ball is like an everyday stuff, Pakistani batters were a helpless lot, failing to produce just a handful of boundaries — even chocking on a free hit — when only 40 runs were needed in six overs with six wickets in hand.

For the umpteenth time, India managed to inflict a shameful defeat on Pakistan — this time by six runs. Since Pakistan’s bowlers had played their part by restricting a strong Indian batting to a small total, the blame for the heartbreaking debacle squarely goes to Pakistan’s batters, none of whom look like belonging to the contemporary T20 world and have failed to adapt to the free-flowing modern-day batting style. Even the bench strength is awfully poor. There is thus an urgent need to arrest what is being perceived as a hockey-like fall of Pakistan cricket by: spotting new talent and grooming them to suit the demands of the day; roping in foreign professionals on the coaching and training side; and last but not least working to build a competitive domestic structure.

As for Pakistan’s chances of qualifying for the Super 8 stage of the World Cup, it has come down to ifs and buts, as always. If the US beat Ireland on coming Friday, it will be the end of the road for the Babar Azam men in the world contest. But before that, in fact today, the Men in Green have to encounter the Canadian challenge. Yes, it’s indeed a challenge given the fact that the 23rd ranked Canada have beaten the 11th ranked Ireland just days back in the ongoing tournament. Fingers crossed!


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