Afridi blames selectors for poor performance
Barbados: With Pakistan`s Twenty20 World Cup title defence in complete disarray, captain Shahid Afridi has criticised the selectors for not consulting him before naming the squad.
"We are coming out from a very difficult time after the New Zealand and Australia tours. The selection committee picks the team for us and first they announce the team before naming the captain and coach. To do well in Twenty20 cricket, we need to have some good Twenty20 players in the side," Afridi said after the heart-breaking one run-loss to New Zealand yesterday.
Pakistan are on the brink of elimination after losing their first two Super Eight matches and the all-rounder conceded his side was passing through a difficult phase after the Pakistan Cricket Board had sacked, banned and fined players for their below-par performance and indiscipline in Australia earlier this year.
"Maybe in the future we can all sit together and pick a good bunch of guys. Hopefully, in the future this will all change.”
"This is the team that the selectors have given me. Those were the best 15 guys I had and I also expected them to do well. But at this point of time, I don`t want to criticise any players in particular. Our fielding in both games was bad and that let us down," Afridi said.
After slumping to the back-to-back defeats, Pakistan now need a miracle to qualify for the semi-finals out of Group E.
Pakistan will have to beat South Africa by a big margin in their last Super Eight game at St Lucia and then hope that England, who have won two successive games, trounce New Zealand to have an outside chance of qualifying for the semis.
Afridi was of the view that the team lacked mental strength and his poor form has added to Pakistan`s woes in the tournament.
"The players are trying their best but I can`t explain why the team is not winning games. Maybe, the new boys in the side lack mental strength. To finish close games, I think we need to be mentally strong," he said.
"I am not performing that well, so I feel that is one reason why the result is not coming. My performance is always key to team`s good showing," added Afridi.
Asked if team was mentally retarded as suggested by former captain and coach Intikhab Alam, Afridi said, "I didn`t hear anything of that sort. So I can`t comment."
He said lack of a professional domestic structure back home and international teams reluctance to tour the strife-torn country had affected Pakistan cricket.
"A domestic structure for any country is important because that is where you will get pool of players. Even the PCB is aware of this and are working on that front. The new selection committee is expected to take over. Hopefully, we will get to see better results in the future," said Afridi.