Former players lash out at Afridi & co

Last Updated: May 07, 2010, 23:32 PM IST

Karachi: The Pakistan team led by Shahid Afridi, which is on the brink of surrendering its World Twenty20 title in the West Indies, has come in for some scathing criticism from former players after its defeat to England in Barbados.

Former Test captain Asif Iqbal lashed out at Afridi’s captaincy, holding him responsible for the team’s poor show.

“I am really disappointed because I was one of those people who had backed Afridi as captain. But in the matches played so far he has been below par as captain and player,” he said.

“I felt that if given responsibility of captaincy, Afridi had the flair and skill to lead from the front but so far he has been a big disappointment,” Asif said.

The former captain said it appeared as if there was no direction in the Pakistan team in the way they had lost their matches to Australia and England.

“It has been a disappointing show so far and let us just hope they can turn things around but so far the signs are not good at all for the supporters,” he said.

Former captain Moin Khan said he didn’t see any game plan on part of the team management in any of the matches.

“We won against Bangladesh but we didn’t play like champions. Against Australia and England there was no sense of pride or direction in the team and Afridi has made mistakes as captain,” he said.

Moin said he was concerned that Afridi and coach Waqar Younis had not shown any flair or confidence in the matches so far.

“We are not playing like defending champions. Our fielding is below par and we are lacking confidence and a clear gameplan. If we continue to play like this we cannot progress beyond the Super Eight stage,” Moin added.

Another former captain, Aamir Sohail, said mistakes were being committed on the field and off it as well.

“The selection is wrong. I don’t understand why this insistence on playing Fawad Alam because he is a big striker of the ball. If at all they want to play him then he should be batting higher up the order.

“Against England on the Barbados pitch they should have played Mohammad Sami as he has pace and is doing well and they dropped him and brought in Mohammad Asif who is short on confidence,” he said.

Sohail said he was disappointed that Afridi had not been able to lead from the front as captain and was under clear pressure.

“His role as a bowler and batsman have suffered because of the pressure,” he added.

Fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said it was obvious that the Pakistan team was not playing as a unit and without any fear.

“In this form of the game until you don’t play without fear and if players are playing just for their places in the side, then don’t expect good results,” he said.

Former spinner and ex-chief selector Abdul Qadir said Fawad Alam should never have been picked in the T20 squad.

“He is not a T20 player and playing him is a mistake. Add to that our fielding standards have been pathetic and with this fielding you shouldn’t expect to defend your title,” he said.

Qadir also expressed surprise that the team management has still not played left-arm spinner Abdul Rehman.

“You look at the IPL results and even in this World Cup. Left-arm spinners and spinners in general are doing well they have to find a place for Rehman in the side. Not playing him weakens the bowling particularly when Afridi is not in his best bowling form,” Qadir said.

PTI

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