Cricket: Pakistan's defeat in Sri Lanka sparks World Cup fears

By AFP
Published: August 31, 2014
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Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq reacts as he sees the first Test against Sri Lanka slip away, casting doubt on his captaincy. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq reacts as he sees the first Test against Sri Lanka slip away, casting doubt on his captaincy. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Former cricket greats said Sunday they fear Pakistan’s one-day defeat in Sri Lanka will hurt preparations for the World Cup just five months away.

Pakistan were beaten by seven wickets in the third and final one-day international against Sri Lanka in Dambulla on Saturday after being bowled for a mere 102, losing the three-match series 2-1.

They also lost the preceding two-match Test series 2-0.

Ramiz Raja, who took the catch that won Pakistan the 1992 World Cup, criticised preparations for next year’s tournament.

“I don’t think team’s preparations for the World Cup are in the right direction,” the former skipper said. “We need to find new talent if we want to succeed.”

“It seems our batsmen have forgotten how to stay at the wicket and no one has consistency in his performance.”

Former captain Rashid Latif said the one-day defeat would hurt World Cup preparations.

“The Pakistan cricket board relied on old players for the last two years in their preparations for the World Cup and they simply don’t trust young players — and that’s why our (performance) graph is going down with every series,” he told AFP.

Latif said he feared Misbah-ul Haq, appointed captain until the World Cup, would come under pressure.

“I think Misbah’s future is in doubt. He didn’t perform in seven innings of the tour and his captaincy was defensive,” said Latif of the one-day and Test captain.

Misbah managed just 67 in two Tests and as many runs in three one-day matches.

Pakistan next play a Twenty20 international, two Tests and three one-day internationals against Australia in the United Arab Emirates in October, before taking on New Zealand in three Tests, five one-dayers and two T20s.

“Maybe Shahid Afridi will replace Misbah as one-day captain,” said Latif, who thought four to five players may be changed for the next series.

Another former captain, Mohammad Yousuf, also criticised Misbah’s captaincy.

“If the captaincy remained with Misbah you can’t expect improvement in results,” said Yousuf. “He has been the captain for four years and has not been able to find a proper combination.”

“I think it is imperative we have Afridi as captain who is aggressive and can lead in a better way.”

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Reader Comments (8)

  • WAQAR HASSAN BUTT
    Aug 31, 2014 - 6:42PM

    Shahid Afridi is being recommended as the new skipper for one day by some of the old players. I agree with them that he is aggressive, but the main issue with him is his personal performance. If a captain does not perform himself than he becomes a liability on the team.

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  • yasir
    Aug 31, 2014 - 7:36PM

    misbah is very boring cricketr and very…very boring captan. Misbah’s boring team loss the mach and pak cricket loss spoter. Pcb is old cricketar’s bord.

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  • Jibran
    Aug 31, 2014 - 7:51PM

    Thank you Najam Sethi and Nawaz Sharif for totally destroying everything you touch.

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  • ani
    Aug 31, 2014 - 8:11PM

    These former “greats” are constantly barraging current players. It’s as if these players never lost a match, or under-performed themselves. Alistair Cook also came under heavy criticism after first test loss. Look at the way he came back..Now it seems to be Dhoni’s turn. Whenever a team loses, or a player fails, immediately former cricketers call for heads to roll. International cricket is increasingly becoming the case where teams are “tigers at home and lambs abroad”. Teams winining matches away is becoming increasingly rare with no team clearly dominating the scene. So keep calm, and move on.

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  • Haider
    Aug 31, 2014 - 8:22PM

    Ijaz Butt now r u happy..You withdrew Afridi from captaincy when Pakistan team was performing very well….From Newzeland tour to WI…who can forget Pakistan in semifinal of wc 11…did we expect this when wc started…..Since when Misbah took charge apart from Asia cup win 2012 and India series win..what exceptional has been done in last 4 years…misbah the culprit behind wc 2007 loss and wc 11 semifinal lossRecommend

  • Ovais
    Aug 31, 2014 - 8:24PM

    Misbah-ul-Haq seems to be an incapable captain for handling the team even in the minor matches. Then how will he be able to tackle the situation in 2015 World Cup.

    My suggestion to PCB is that please consider a daring and fearful captain such as Shahid Afridi. Give him one more chance to lead Team Pakistan once again, and we might this time not only reach the Semis but win the World Cup. InshaAllah.

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  • Aug 31, 2014 - 9:51PM

    Misbah, just Go. Play county cricket. Leave.
    Najmal Sathi should be banned for life from
    cricket.

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  • Ishrat Ansari
    Aug 31, 2014 - 10:35PM

    Pakistan has no chance whatsoever in the World Cup, because the team will not be selected on merit.

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