LAHORE: Underlining that the national Test team have the talent and ability to perform well in Australia, former Pakis­tan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Khalid Mahmood insists that poor preparations for the tough tour is preventing the players from giving their best.

“Now [Pakistan team director] Mohammad Haf­eez is saying that the national Test squad should have reached Australia some six days before to enable the players to acclimatize to the local conditions,” Khalid said while talking to Dawn on Monday.

“In fact, the PCB had enough time to devise a plan in order to send the team six days earlier as the [ongoing] tour was scheduled long ago. Everyone knows that the tour of Australia has never been easy. Therefore, better and timely planning was needed which was not done,” Khalid added.

Pakistan, under their newly-appointed skipper Shan Masood, have lost the three-match Test series Down Under after failures in the first two Tests in Perth (360 runs) and Melbourne (79 runs).

“Prior to the [Australia] tour, our players should have been provided adequate practice on bouncy pitches to prepare them better for the demanding.”

Khalid continued, “With due regard to the quarters concerned, I will emphasise that only those people should be appointed at the helm who know the game of cricket.”

“Pakistan cricket is facing a significant decline. If we want to attain a position among world’s top three cricket teams, we should bring capable people on the management side.”

On being asked to comment on Shan’s leadership in Australia, the former PCB chief said if the team had unity, the role of captaincy became marginal.

However, he insisted that a strong captain also creates significant impact on the team.

“For example, the Pakis­tan team which won the 1992 World Cup under Imran Khan was comparatively weaker then the 1999 World Cup team,” Khalid said.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2024

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