At a time when the Pakistan team is being severely criticised for its performance at the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy in the UK, vultures began circling the country’s cricket board as well.
Calls for the resignation of the entire team management and selection committee accompanied by demands to overhaul the squad have gained momentum.
However, Zaka Ashraf, suspended as PCB chairman, distanced himself from the team’s pathetic show. The 60-year-old, in response to a query that he was still the PCB chairman when the Pakistan team was preparing for the Champions Trophy, said that the individuals on the field were responsible for their show in the ongoing tournament.
“I have nothing to do with the team’s performance,” Ashraf told The Express Tribune. “It depends on the individual players’ performance.
“Moreover, I’m restrained by the court and as such I am not involved in such affairs. [But] the court hasn’t given its final ruling yet.”
‘Selectors not responsible’
Despite the poor show, it seems as if no one wants to take responsibility as a selector said there were hardly any flaws in team selection.
“Imran Farhat won his place by performing well in South Africa and in domestic cricket,” said the selector. “Shoaib Malik’s experience was required in the absence of seasoned campaigners including Younus Khan and Shahid Afridi, who were dropped after demands from the captain.
“Misbah had faith in Malik and we had to accept it because Younus and Afridi struggled in South Africa.”
On Kamran Akmal, he said, “Sadly, there is no better wicket-keeper option. Akmal’s batting credentials are better.”
On Abdul Razzaq’s snub, the selector said the all-rounder did not give any proof of his form and fitness as he stayed away from domestic cricket despite repeated calls for participation.
“The selectors have no obsession in occupying their seats but they are not responsible for the failure.. Even chief selector [Iqbal Qasim] wanted to quit after completing his year in March but he was stopped by the PCB chairman.”
“The team management – captain and coaches should be blamed as their wrong decisions cost the team.”
‘Coaches main culprit’
Meanwhile, former PCB chief Khalid Mehmood agreed that coaches need to be questioned on the team’s show.
“Selectors did not have many options. What difference could Afridi and Younus make.
“Secondly, nobody applauds the chairman when the team wins. Similarly, the board chief shouldn’t be answerable for the team’s bad performance.
“The coaches are entirely responsible for the failure and they should be questioned for their conduct.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2013.