THE dismal performance of our cricket team in the Champions Trophy has disappointed all cricket lovers in Pakistan, having finished last on the table amongst a total of eight teams.
It is the batting line-up which has failed. In all the three matches that were lost, our team could not even reach the 200-run mark. I think we are missing a match-winning player like Shahid Afridi or Razzak in the team.
The present setup does not even have a batsman who can hang on till the end and also score runs at a reasonable rate. I consider Misbah too slow and too old for the job. All other teams have some hard hitters and consistent batting performers.
It is time we started building a team for the next World Cup. Players like Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Misbah have no place in the One-Day squad. They have a poor record of delivering in crunch situations.
There is no dearth of talent in Pakistan. I am sure we can find suitable replacements for Shahid Afridi, Razzak, Younus Khan and Yousuf.
Another factor which has contributed to our team’s failure is that our batsmen lack both temperament and technique to play on fast, seaming and grassy tracks.
We have to improve our domestic cricket so that talented players are picked up and groomed at the right time. There is also a need to revamp the entire selection procedure. The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman should be a professional and not a political appointee.
CDRE (r) SAJJAD ALI SHAH BOKHARI Islamabad