Not fair to criticise the team after one defeat: Alam
Karachi: Pakistan cricket team manager Intikhab Alam said the criticism and ridicule heaped on the national team after their defeat to New Zealand in the World Cup was not fair.
"Other teams have also lost a match, we are not the first side to lose a match. But the way we have been criticised is unjustified. The players need the full backing of their people to come good in the tournament," Intikhab told the reporters in Pallekelle where Pakistan will take on Zimbabwe in their group A match on Monday.
The former Test captain, however admitted that the poor form of wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, may open up the possibility of Umar Akmal being pushed into keeping duties in the next match.
Kamran, whose form as a keeper as well as a batsman has been disappointing in the World Cup so far, dropped New Zealand`s centurion Ross Taylor twice in one over of Shoaib Akhtar as Pakistan suffered a huge 110-run defeat.
"Kamran himself is upset and disappointed with his own performance. He is himself feeling down and realises we lost an important match. But the job of the management is not to allow any player to lose his confidence and help him work out his problems," Intikhab said.
The manager said while Umar was an option to take over the wicketkeeping duties from his brother against Zimbabwe but there was no need to push the panic button.
"I don`t think it is right for either us or our supporters and former players to panic after one defeat. We made mistakes, we dropped crucial catches and we didn`t click at all against New Zealand but that does not mean that we are out of the World Cup," he said.
Umar has done wicketkeeping in the T20 series against New Zealand early this year but the Pakistan have no specialist standbye keeper in their squad.
The manager also said that after the defeat to New Zealand, the management had been speaking to the players and efforts are being made to learn from the defeat.
"We will gain nothing by panicking and we have to manage with the available 15 players in the World Cup," he said.
Intikhab also insisted that the management was clear about one thing.
"We will not just blame Kamran for the defeat and make him a scapegoat. The entire team is to blame. It is a team game so if we do well it is as a team and if we perform badly then also the responsibility is on entire team and not on any individuals."
Sources in the Pakistan team said that despite his poor show, the senior players in the team were still backing Kamran to play on and it was highly unlikely that he would be dropped for the Zimbabwe match.
"He has a strong support lobby in the team that includes captain Shahid Afridi as well," the source said.