Lahore: Following Pakistan’s dismal performance in the ongoing World Cup so far, the country’s former skipper Intikhab Alam has questioned the presence of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq in England and said it was the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) mistake to allow him to stay in England at its expense.
“Once the selection committee has selected the team, the captain and coach take over to select the playing 11 and decide on the tour matters,” Intikhab told the Dawn. “So what is the role of Inzamam-ul-Haq there and why has the PCB allowed him to go on official visit and interfere,” he questioned.
Pakistan have been able to win just one game out of their five matches so far in the ongoing World Cup. The three matches, in which the Green Brigade faced defeat, include the one against arch-rivals India at the Old Trafford Sunday, where Pakistan played poorly and lost by 89 runs (D/L method).
Ever since the defeat, Pakistani cricketers have been hounded on the social media, not only by the fans, but also by former cricketers for their lacklustre performance against the Men in Blue.
Alam held the team management responsible for Pakistan’s poor performance in the ongoing showpiece event. “It seems that the team management has totally failed to make a comprehensive plan for the World Cup.”
“They should have a solid strategy against each team, complete knowledge about the kind of pitches in the mega event, the weather conditions and weaknesses and strengths of their rivals. Sadly, none of that has been on display and the performance of the Pakistan team so far shows that no comprehensive game-plan was ever in place,” he lamented.
The 77-year-old also called for an immediate inquiry against players who were caught on camera partying a night before their all-important clash with India.
A series of photos and videos making the rounds of the social media show certain team members allegedly socialising past curfew hours. In one of the videos, Shoaib Malik, opener Imam-ul-Haq and Wahab Riaz were seen at a shisha cafe late in the night.
However, Malik claimed that the purported video was of June 13 and not before the night of the match played June 16 in Manchester. The PCB has also disputed the claims.
“It is wrong as the players are on their national duty and there must be a discipline to be followed strictly,” emphasised Alam, a veteran of 47 Tests and four ODIs.
“Though the PCB claimed that the event happened two days before the crucial match against India, even then no one can justify the late stay of the players in a cafe as there are certain timings to be observed,” he said.
“The players could have their dinner at any hotel maximum by 11 p.m. not beyond that. The PCB should hold an inquiry to penalise the players involved,” he demanded.
With three points from five games, Pakistan’s chances of making it to the semifinals are bleak. Placed ninth in the table, the 1992 champions will next face South Africa Sunday.