PCB chief blasts team for spineless show against India

June 12th, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Lahore, June 12 (IANS) Incensed at Pakistan’s spineless display against India in Bangaldesh tri-series, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf has dashed off a stongly worded letter to manager Talat Ali, raising objections over the team selection, Shoab Malik’s captaincy and Kamran Akmal’s “unsporting” behaviour. Paksitan slumped to a heavy 140-run defeat against India which also snapped their 12-match ODI winning streak.

Describing the performance of the Pakistan team as embarrassing, the chairman wrote a letter to manager Ali in which he sought explantaion on team selection, Malik’s captaincy, coach Geoff Lawson’s weak role and excessive number of extras, The Dawn has reported.

Ashraf also rebuked Akmal for claiming a dropped catch of Virender Sehwag and warned the team from practising such unsporting behaviour.

The national daily published a copy of the letter in which the chairman asked the team management to immediately hold a meeting to come up with a strategy for the probable final against India on June 14.

“Last night’s (Tuesday) performance against India in which we lost by over 100 runs was embarrassing. It is not a question of losing a match but our overall performance and the lack of resolve and commitment bothered me the most,” the chairman was quoted as saying in the letter.

“I am writing to you since you are the chairman of the tour selection committee with copies to Geoff Lawson and Malik. Please respond to the points raised in the letter within the next 24 hours.”

On Tuesday’s performance, the PCB chairman felt the team management should have learnt from the Bangladesh match that the track is more suited to spinners but four fast bowlers were picked against India.

Raising doubts over the fitness of Malik, Ashraf wrote “You clearly told me that Malik was 100 per cent fit and therefore was the second spinner in the side. What happened to that? Why did Malik not bowl?

“Malik must undergo a complete fitness test so as to determine clearly whether he can bowl full 10 overs or not.”

On Akmal’s catch, Ashraf said: “Wicketkeeping was pathetic, especially after Kamran Akmal dropped the catch and pretended that he had held on to it. This is unsporting behaviour but perhaps one has to give him the benefit of the doubt as he may not have realised that the ball had slipped out from his hand, which was picked up by the cameras. I do not want such behaviour from any Pakistani player. Please warn everyone! We ought to be looking at playing another ‘keeper.

“Except for a few on the field, the body language was not competitive. We were smiling and joking as if we were some junior team which was happy just to be given the privilege of playing a top team. This has to stop.”

Ashraf said he would reach Dhaka Saturday, and will immediately have a meeting with Ali, the captain, the coach and the vice-captain and then meet the full team.

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