Monday Jul 12, 2021
KARACHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board's wrong policies for the last three years are to blame for the failure of Pakistan in England in the first two ODIs, says former Pakistan Test fast bowler Abdul Rauf.
Rauf said PCB had been talking about strengthening the cricket system in the country since its current management took charge. “But what have they done to our cricket? This team that failed against an English team that had so many debutants?” he asked. “This is the result of PCB’s policies and planning," he told The News.
Rauf said that when Covid-19 positive cases were identified in English team players and team officials, they changed the players and team officials in a few hours and appointed a new captain and new team officials and they won.
For him, this is what a strong cricket system is capable of doing.
PCB has not organised a single district or city level cricket tournament in the last two years, he said, adding that the results were already predicted by those who know the game. "They had been pointing out the follies of the Board,” said Rauf.
Rauf believes cricket isn't the same anymore. He said the game's needs and demands have changed and that PCB's top management doesn't understand this.
"They [PCB] are hiding behind big names like Waqar Younis, Misbah-ul-Haq, and Saqlain Mushtaq,” the fast bowler said.
He said that Waqar and Misbah had had multiple roles with the Pakistan team, but they failed to produce good middle order and opening batsmen.
PCB chairperson Ehsan Mani, CEO Wasim Khan, Waqar and Saqlain knew very well what it was like to play in England as they had lived and played in England for years, Rauf said, adding that it is hard to swallow how the Pakistan team is surrendering against a third-tier English team.
Rauf praised Babar Azam and he is a "top-notch batsman", but that he is "not capable of leading".
“He [Babar Azam] cannot read different conditions or produce good results under pressure,” Rauf said.
Rauf said that alarm bells rang when Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan in the ODI series and Zimbabwe also defeated Pakistan at home ground last year.
He said that unless PCB appointed coaches and assistant coaches who were qualified in sports sciences and had done level-3 or level-4 coaching courses, Pakistan would not be able to survive at the international level.
The Pakistan team was mentally shattered in England, he said, adding that their body language showed they lacked a "fighting spirit".
Rauf said, however, said that the same players who played the first two ODIs should play in the third ODI as there was no time for experiments.