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South Africa series, last chance for Misbah, Waqar

Bureau Report

Lahore: Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) cricket committee has told the current team management that there will be no ‘second chance’ if the performance stays below par in the home series against South Africa.
The cricket committee’s meeting led by newly-appointed chairman Saleem Yousaf took place at Gaddafi Stadium which was also attended by CEO PCB Wasim Khan and Chairman Women’s wing Urooj Mumtaz. Umar Gul, Wasim Akram and Zakir Khan attended the meeting virtually.
The committee reviewed the performance of the national cricket team over the last 16 months during which the side played 10 Tests (won two and lost five), five ODIs (won four) and 17 T20Is (won seven and lost eight). Pakistan men’s team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis also appeared in front of the committee.
The PCB Cricket Committee expressed its dissatisfaction with the side’s performances but acknowledged the fact that the team had competed in the unprecedented and challenging Covid-19 circumstances, which resulted in the absence of a few experienced players that, in turn, contributed towards the overall below-par performances.
The committee opined that the team management needs to give a full explanation of its strategy and goals for the men’s team so that they could be evaluated and assessed against those objectives at the next meeting.
The committee also recommended that the PCB should continue to support and back the team management, whilst suggesting that the next performance appraisal be conducted following the home series against South Africa.
Despite these disadvantages, the PCB Cricket Committee also strongly believed team selections and choice of players in the playing line-ups should have been made better.
The committee also proposed more scientific and data-based work in the preparation of players to deal with difficult situations.
PCB Cricket Committee Chairman Saleem Yousuf: “The PCB Cricket Committee carried out a holistic but constructive, fact-based and objective review of the Pakistan men’s cricket team in the past 16 months. There is no denying the fact that we all want to see our side ranked amongst the top three or four cricket playing nations and our recent performances do justice with neither those expectations nor the talent we boast.”
“The challenges of playing in Covid-19 protocols have not only been faced by the Pakistan men’s national team, but by all the sides presently involved in international cricket and these concerns have been regularly raised by the team coaches and elite cricketers.
“All professional and high-performing athletes require an environment where they can prepare their best for the international stage, which was not the case for the last two tours and most definitely not at the last tour where players had been confined to their rooms for two weeks due to the policies of that particular Covid-free country.

“As a consequence, Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq and Shadab Khan were unavailable for Test selections after Fakhar Zaman had missed the flight on the day of the departure. These big loses affected the team combinations that, in turn, resulted in the side’s overall below-par performance against a side that remained unbeaten in the past two-and-a-half years.

“With the important home series against South Africa only two weeks away, the PCB Cricket Committee will conduct another review after the conclusion of the same. However, it has already been relayed to the team management that there will be no points for second place.”

Before the arrival of Misbah and Waqar, Chief Selector Muhammad Waseem also briefed the cricket committee about his selection policy.

The cricket committee also reviewed the performance of domestic cricket and women’s cricket.

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