Team management responsible for Pakistan’s poor show: Intikhab Alam

Updated June 19, 2019

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Former skipper lashes out at Inzamam’s needless presence in England. — AFP/File
Former skipper lashes out at Inzamam’s needless presence in England. — AFP/File

LAHORE: Former Pakistan captain Intikhab Alam on Tuesday slammed national team’s poor performance in the ongoing World Cup, especially against traditional rivals India, and demanded an immediate inquiry against the players who have been allegedly seen enjoying themselves in a shisha cafe the night before the Pakistan-India match.

“It seems that the team management has totally failed to make a comprehensive plan for the World Cup,” said Intikhab while speaking to Dawn on Tuesday. “They should have a solid strategy against each team, complete knowledge about the kind of pitches in the mega event, the weather conditions and weaknesses and strengths of their rivals. Sadly, none of that has been on display and the performances of the Pakistan team so far shows that no comprehensive gameplan was ever in place,” he lamented.

“Just how could the team management justify the decision of bowling first after winning the toss against Australia and then in the crucial match against India,” asked the former all-rounder. “How can the management defend its decision of playing four spinners against India who are very comfortable against slow bowlers.”

Former skipper lashes out at Inzamam’s needless presence in England

India crushed Pakistan by 89 runs in Manchester on Sunday on Duckworth/Lewis method in the rain-hit, showpiece match of the World Cup to keep intact its unbeaten record against their arch-rivals in the World Cups.

Intikhab further said that among the top three batsmen, at least one or two had to play big knocks and build the innings around them in order to pile up a sizeable score for the opposition. “But no such plan or methodical approach has been witnessed in the batting.”

He also questioned the presence of chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq in England and said it was the mistake of the PCB to allow him to stay in England on Board’s expense.

“Once the selection committee has selected the team, the captain and coach take over to select the playing eleven and decide on the tour matters,” said Intikhab. “So what is the role of Inzamam-ul-Haq there and why has the PCB allowed him to go on official visit and interfere,” he questioned.

He lamented that that surprisingly the Pakistani bowlers failed to pitch the balls in right areas and there were no yorkers sent down to the Indian batsmen.

Commenting on the media reports that Shoaib Malik, one of the senior most players in the Pakistan team, alongwith opener Imam-ul-Haq, Wahab Riaz and others broke the curfew time and were found in a shisha cafe late in the night, Intikhab said it should not have happened. “It is wrong as the players are on their national duty and there must be a discipline to be followed strictly,” he emphasised. “Though the PCB has claimed that the event happened two days before the crucial match against India, even then no one could justify the late stay of the players in a cafe as there are certain timings to be observed.

“The players could have their dinner at any hotel maximum by 11pm not beyond that. The PCB should hold an inquiry to penalise the players involved,” he demanded.

According to the media report the above said players remained in the cafe late 2am on Sunday. However, the PCB claimed it happened two days before the match against India and the time was wrongly reported as 2am as no curfew timing was flouted.

To a question, Intikhab said Pakistan have a hard job ahead to qualify for the semi-final as it will not only required them to win all the remaining four matches but it will also be depending on the results of the other teams’ matches.

He also expressed his disappointment that the seniors players could not perform well and added that the decision of the selectors and the team management to go with experienced players, despite their poor performance in the last one year, had proved utterly wrong. “Shoaib Malik, skipper Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez needed to play positively and lead from the front but ironically they have all failed to do so.

Intikhab also praised the fine win by Bangladesh against West Indies.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2019