Mohammad Zahid slams Pakistan's performance in World T20
Former Pakistan pacer Mohammad Zahid has come down heavily on Pakistan’s performance in the recently concluded ICC World Twenty20, where the team won just one out of the four games in the Super 10 stage.
Prior to the World T20, Pakistan also failed to make it to the final of the 2016 Asia Cup after being beaten by Bangladesh and India.
In his blog for PakPassion.net, Zahid heavily criticised Pakistan’s display in the World T20 and stated that the evidence of disharmony in the team was quite apparent during the tournament.
“We all saw Pakistan’s performance at the World Twenty20 – it was pathetic overall.
“I’m of the same opinion as all Pakistanis in that it was below average and unacceptable, particularly when you look at how far all the other teams have progressed in Twenty20 cricket.
“Pakistan were poor in all aspects of the game.
“I don’t know exactly what was happening inside the dressing as I wasn’t there, but it was apparent that there was a lot going on behind the scenes, from groupings to question marks over the captaincy and management.
“Everyone just seemed separate, there was no cohesion on display; it didn’t look like a team at all.”
After the dismal showing in the Asia Cup and the World T20, Pakistan’s coach Waqar Younis resigned and the T20 International captain, Shahid Afridi stepped down from his post.
Prior to submitting his resignation, Younis wrote a report to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), which was eventually leaked, revealing that the former coach had criticised the methods of Afridi’s captaincy.
Terming all these reports as a way to lay blame on others, Zahid lamented that nobody in the Pakistan cricket establishment is ready to take the responsibility to improve the status of affairs.
“Following the World Twenty20, lots of accusations started ranging from Waqar Younis' statements to Shahid Afridi speaking out to the press.
“If you look closely, you will see that no-one seems to be taking responsibility and is instead laying the blame on others.
“I don’t know how these reports keep getting leaked, it used to happen in the past and is still happening.
“Everyone seems to be talking about who leaked them but let’s get to the real question – what is being done to help Pakistan cricket?
“Are we improving the grounds or hiring qualified coaches at the grassroots level?
“Has anyone checked the fitness level of our players compared to all the other teams? Even compared to Bangladesh? It’s just not acceptable.
“I don’t think anything will happen as a result of all these reports and the fuss made about them.
“These reports have been produced in the past as well and just like in those times, there will be a lot of noise for a few days but we will go back to how we were.”
In the aftermath of the exit from the World T20, the PCB has also sacked the entire selection committee headed by Haroon Rashid.
Zahid feels that people who can be sincere in their efforts have to be appointed as selectors but he feels that such people in Pakistan cricket are few and far between.
“A selector should be someone who is a person of integrity and can be trusted; someone who doesn’t just think about himself.
“Our problem is that many cricketers feel they are bigger than the country.
“Pakistan cricket needs people to come in who are sincere about their job and there are very few people in Pakistan cricket like that unfortunately.
“In my view, even if we have to plead and get down on our knees to beg, Majid Khan is perhaps one person who we should try to get to help in this regard but I don’t think he would be interested.
“Sadly speaking, there are really only one or two names that can make a positive difference.”
Pakistan’s next international assignment will be the tour of England which starts in July but Zahid feels that the team’s chances of beating the 2016 World T20 runners up are very slim.
However, the 39-year-old feels that if Mohammad Amir can manage to get a visa for the tour, he will be able to make a difference for Pakistan in their campaign.
“Pakistan’s chances of winning in England are always slim.
“I don’t know what team will be selected but my main concern is our batting.
“Regardless though, I don’t fancy our chances too much although assuming that Mohammad Amir does get a visit visa for the UK, he will make a difference – he’s a better bowler now than he was five years ago.
“The crowd will get after him in England given the history but all that will become a secondary issue once he starts performing on the field.
“He will need to be prepared for some needle from crowds and possibly the opponents but it’s important for him to be able to handle that.”
After Afridi stepped down as the captain of the T20I team, the PCB appointed the wicket-keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed as the skipper of the team in the shortest format.
© Cricket World 2016