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“Pakistan cricket has hit rock bottom”
A number of former players who represented Pakistan have called for Misbah-ul-Haq to be stripped of the captaincy and head coach Dav Whatmore to be fired immediately after the national team suffered a humiliating loss to Zimbabwe in the second Test, which saw them drop from fourth to sixth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings.
Former Pakistan pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar stated that the national team had “hit rock bottom” and ought to be ashamed of their disgraceful performance.
“Pakistan cricket has hit rock bottom and we need to rethink our strategies and cricket priorities,” he said.
Ex-captain Ramiz Raja found the loss very “disappointing” and called for ul-Haq to be replaced.
“I think Misbah has given all he could to Pakistan cricket as captain,” Raja said. “There is now a predictability and staleness in the cricket we are playing. This is the right time now to have a new captain and introduce some new players because we can’t do worse then this.
“This defeat is very disappointing and it is very frustrating to see our team losing to a side whose bowling, honestly speaking, is not more than club-level stuff. It is a shameful happening for Pakistan cricket.”
Raja added that Zimbabwe deserved to win since they showed more heart and fight throughout the match.
“Our batting is just going down day by day and there is no quality or resilience in it,” he added. “If our batsmen can’t score in helpful conditions against such a bowling attack what can we expect when we play South Africa next month,” he said. Rameez said that when Misbah took over as captain stability was needed in Pakistan team to overcome the spot-fixing scandal and other problems.
“Misbah has gone stale now and is short of new ideas. We need to have a new captain now and fresh direction. This is the time to take decisions because we can’t do worse than this.”
Akhtar also noted that Pakistan were becoming too reliant on their pace bowlers and intimidating their opponents by playing “aggressive cricket”.
“In the past we heavily depended on our fast bowlers and on playing natural and aggressive cricket,” Akhtar said. “We have lost all those traits. In the first Test if Younis Khan had not scored a double hundred we would have lost that Test also. That is how bad we have become as a team.”
Akhtar added that it seemed as if all of Pakistan’s strengths had been transferred to India.
“Look at the batting talent they have and look at our state of affairs because we are not willing to invest in new and young players and we are not willing to take risks,” he said.
Former Pakistan leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed stated that it “hurt” to see the national team struggle against such low-ranked opposition.
“All I can say is these bunch of players just don’t have in them to do well,” he said. “After the days we have seen it hurts to see our cricket in this state. Pakistan cricket needs to be given fresh direction.”