Pakistan have under six months until they head for the ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and at present, they frankly look ill-prepared.
Javed Miandad, who played for the Men in Green between 1976-1996, is the latest to criticise the current set-up, telling PakPassion.net: “Like all other teams, we need to clear why we are or are not selecting particular players.”
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Miandad made the comments after the Pakistan Cricket Board’s recent dispute with veteran Younis Khan, who was dropped for the ODI series with Australia. Khan hit out at the PCB for omitting him in spite of his experience, though the Board insist they are attempting to build the team around a younger nucleus.
On the evidence of their current batting crisis, it appears that strategy is not working particularly well. The question remains of whether that is even the consistent strategy of the PCB, as players such as Shahid Afridi seem indispensable.
Khan’s absence has also been detrimental to the side’s fielding, which again has been highlighted against the Aussies.
According to Miandad, even when their off-field problems are taken into account, the fundamental problem is that Pakistan are not producing enough top-quality players.
“The simple fact is that we are unable to produce players of calibre and this is a worry”, he said.
“What we are seeing in the current series is a logical culmination of our years of neglect and mismanagement at the highest level.”
A team in crisis?
If that is true, there is little that can be done ahead of the World Cup, and it may be that they choose to write this tournament off.
Miandad has also spoken out against the team’s batting coaches for failing to help the likes of Afridi with the short ball, accusing them of a lack of responsibility.Their lack of progress is certainly surprising, especially since they have taken so many steps to change their coaching line-up.
Nonetheless, it is clear that essentially, the national side’s woes go far beyond the nets. Indeed, unless there is change at the highest level of the PCB, they risk continuing in the rut that has persisted for the last decade.