KARACHI: While offering no excuses after Quetta Gladiators failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season in the HBL Pakistan Super League, head coach Moin Khan has identified lack of a strong team combination throughout the Abu Dhabi leg.
“It was extremely disappointing to see the boys repeating the same mistakes over and over again despite knowing that every game is a new one and every season is new as well. There is no doubt in my mind if there is no dearth talent but one has to prove himself by giving his best and proving to all that they’ve got the required skills to match their potential.
In a post-match interview at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium just after Quetta had been bulldozed by a record 110-run margin after folding up for 73 — their lowest total in PSL history — against Multan Sultans late on Wednesday night, Moin admitted the young local players lacked total game awareness as the team experienced their worst PSL season, the latest loss being seventh in nine fixtures.
“I think all of us being professionals, there are no excuses whatsoever to offer for Quetta’s disastrous show in the tournament. We hardly managed to field strongest possible playing XI as players such as our overseas campaigners like Chris Gayle, Qais Ahmed, Dale Steyn, Andre Russell and Faf du Plessis were partially available for various reasons,” Moin, who had been coaching Quetta since the start of the T20 league in 2016, reasoned.
“Unfortunately as a team I would honestly say we’re simply not good enough. The onus was on our local cricketers to step up and showcase themselves as potential stars, but they were found lacking in confidence. “There is no secret to attaining success and to win matches, one has to take the responsibility on the shoulders consistently. Quetta didn’t have that element of consistency in terms of up decent performance because we just could not find the proper combination as a number of players weren’t in form either,” the former Pakistan wicket-keeper/batsman, who also captained the country and had stints as chief selector and head coach with the national side, added.
“As a coach I always expect my players to express themselves to the hilt but they were not able to grasp the [game] situation and play accordingly while being aware of the team’s requirements. And that for me was obviously the biggest drawback, and if the boys start adapting to the task in the shortest possible period then only they’ll progress in the right direction.
“But at end of the day, there was nothing we could and just fell apart as a unit, which indeed hurt badly all of Quetta’s fans. And if some of the lads are striving to represent Pakistan someday, then they have got to do a massive amount of hard work. Otherwise, there is no short cut to achieving success in life,” the 49-year-old Moin advised.
Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021