Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan suffered a seventh consecutive loss to India in the ICC Cricket World Cup after going down to the Men in Blue by 89 runs in a rain-curtailed match in Manchester’s Old Trafford Stadium on 16 June.
Pakistan have come under heavy criticism with the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ Shoaib Akhtar terming Sarfaraz Ahmed’s captaincy as ‘brainless’. Former cricketer Mohammad Yousuf has called for veteran Shoaib Malik to retire from international cricket after a golden duck in what has been a poor tournament so far.
Dawn.com, in one of their front page reports titled 'Pakistan fail to break India jinx after another anti-climax', goes onto conclude that emotions get the better of their players when the Men in Green are expected to perform.
The same media outlet has quoted former cricketer Ramiz Raja saying that he felt it was time to revamp cricket in his country.
"I believe it is the right time (to revamp) as I think Pakistan's World Cup campaign has almost ended because their net run rate is below all other teams' except Afghanistan,” the 56-year-old said.
Meanwhile, former skipper Waqar Younis has said that it was time to include youngster Mohammad Hasnain in the playing eleven.
The 19-year-old made his ODI debut against Australia in March and played a couple of matches during their 50-over series against England just before the 10-team tournament began.
“I would now try and bring one of the youngsters back into the team. In this Pakistan bowling attack, there’s no real pace apart from Wahab,” Waqar said.
“When you look around at the other teams, they have guys that can bowl 140kph, so maybe Hasnain is the way to go up front with the new ball,” the 47-year-old said.
Following the loss, Cricketpakistan.com.pk reported that captain Sarfaraz Ahmed lashed out at some of his layers for underperforming against Virat Kohli and Co.
The same story was discussed by Samaa TV where they've alleged that there's groupism in the squad with other faction led by Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz and Imam Ul Haq.
Dunya News also dwelled on the issue of groups within the team and the differences between the squad members. It alleges that Sarfaraz was interested in playing Asif Ali and Mohammad Hasnain against India but his appeal was turned down. Instead, Shoaib Malik and Imad Wasim were persisted with. As the Pakistan team reached London for their next fixture at Lord's against South Africa on 23 June, Sarfaraz remained tight-lipped over the questions on groups.
In another report on CricketPakistan, Wasim Akram says that Pakistani players were more interested in playing T20 leagues rather than focusing on performing for the country.
Express Tribune reckons Pakistan had lost to India even before the World Cup began. Analysis by author Abdul Majid state Pakistan's issues are "lack of confidence, intent, and more importantly presence on the field." He questioned the preparations for the World Cup and the alterations made to the final squad where Wahab came back in even though he had last played in the Champions Trophy group stage two years ago.
Another report says the team has been left in a disarray with chief selector Inzamam Ul Haq's over-involvement in team's decision making. Citing sources, the report says the legendary batsman got involved in the team affairs — including team selection — and gave advice to players which didn't please the team management.
The Men in Green have won only one of their five matches so far, with one match being washed out due to rain. They are in the ninth position currently and will face South Africa at Lord’s on Sunday.
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The source said the PCB has now requested for the hearing to be held through a video link, but the CAS is yet to respond.
The PCB said squad members, match officials, duty doctors and security managers will be placed in bio-secure zones from the beginning of the season to ensure health and safety of players, officials and all other stakeholders.
England became the first country to hold international cricket matches during the pandemic, when they hosted the West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland and Australia between July and September.