KARACHI: Former players spoke for millions of disappointed fans Friday after Pakistan crashed out of the World Twenty20 semi-finals, blaming defeat on poor planning and lacklustre batting.
Pakistan lost to hosts Sri Lanka by 16 runs in the first semi-final Thursday, having failed to beat a modest 140-run target.
“Our openers looked in a panic,” former captain Asif Iqbal told AFP.
“The target was not easy on a slow turning pitch, but had the planning been there it could have been chased, but batsmen did not try to stay at the wicket.”
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (3-25) and Ajantha Mendis (2-27) derailed Pakistan, who were eventually restricted to 123-7 in 20 overs.
Other former Pakistani stars blamed poor selection for the batting collapse.
“We should have played Asad Shafiq. He is our most composed and technically sound player and he should have been in the team,” said former captain Aamir Sohail.
Former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir said veteran all-rounder Abdul Razzaq should not have been dropped. He was replaced by paceman Sohail Tanvir.
“You needed proper planning to chase down a total,” said another former captain, Zaheer Abbas.
“Our batsmen didn't play according to the situation and pitch conditions. I thought 140 was gettable in the match but the application was missing.”
Popular all-rounder Shahid Afridi was also singled out for criticism.
Player of the tournament when Pakistan won the World Twenty20 in 2009, Afridi managed just 30 runs in five innings and took four wickets in six matches.
“He was cruelly out of form,” said former batsman Basit Ali.
“I think he should retire now because he was a big disappointment in the tournament. Hafeez also made a blunder by insisting on opening the innings.”