Pakistan news March 4, 2016

'Painful watching Pakistan play like this' - Shaharyar


Shaharyar Khan - "We are not going to make anyone a scapegoat or do the witch hunt but whatever we will do, it will be done with clarity" © AFP

Shaharyar Khan, the PCB chairman, has hinted at sweeping changes in Pakistan's entire management, following the team's early exit in the Asia Cup. Shaharyar has formed a special committee, which includes former T20 captains Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, to monitor Pakistan's performance and examine the selection process for the upcoming World Twenty20*. Shakil Sheikh, who heads the PCB's cricket committee, will chair the special committee, which also includes PCB chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad and former chief selector Iqbal Qasim. Shaharyar, however, insisted that Shahid Afridi will remain captain of the T20 side unless he himself pulls out.

Pakistan lost their opening match of the Asia Cup to India, beat UAE convincingly, only to bow out of the tournament after defeat at the hands of Bangladesh. More worryingly for the team, Pakistan's batting issues resurfaced in Bangladesh, with three wickets falling during the Powerplay in each game.

"It wasn't just a matter of disappointment but it was a painful experience to watch Pakistan play like that," Shaharyar said. "The performance was very poor other then few individuals' performances, but I can assure that accountability is inevitable and whoever is responsible has to answer. Changes are important in the electoral process and leadership but we have to sit and think wisely. We are not going to make anyone a scapegoat or do the witch hunt but whatever we will do, it will be done with clarity."

Afridi's role as captain came under scrutiny after Pakistan controversially dropped Wahab Riaz for Anwar Ali in the game against Bangladesh, ESPNcricinfo understands. It was also observed that Afridi was missing from training sessions and skipped meetings with the coaching staff.

"I understand there is a lot of criticism but I am not going to change anything one week before the major tournament in India," Shaharyar said. "Afridi will remain captain unless he himself pulls out of the job. He has been serving Pakistan from the last 15 years. There are problems in his captaincy which can't be mended and especially at a time when his career is about to be end.

"Also, we don't want to disregard the longest serving players of Pakistan cricket. So, I am not going to push a panic button and take any decision in haste. This is not my style. Some changes you will see will be done before we play our first matches in World T20 and other important changes will be done after the tournament."

Pakistan have already rejigged their original 15-man squad ahead of the Asia Cup and World T20 by adding Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Sami and Khalid Latif. After the Asia Cup debacle, Shaharyar hinted at another wave of change, with the new ICC regulations allowing teams to change their squads before the start of the tournament.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the selectors are considering dropping Khurram Manzoor, whose inclusion did not impress Waqar Younis, for the excluded Ahmed Shehzad. It is also understood that one of the senior members of the team management touched upon Salman Butt's name, mentioning his utility after he was the second-highest run-getter in the recently-concluded National One-Day Cup, where he finished with 536 runs at 107.20.

Manzoor's controversial selection was cited as a "judgement error" by Shaharyar. "It wasn't an unfair call but I did show my reservation. Haroon Rashid made his point that Khurram is the best they have for the opening slot as there is no alternative. I was told that he was in form and has scored enough runs for Pakistan A team but eventually he failed at the top. But I can assure you that ahead of the World T20 there will be changes in selection as we will have time to change."

* March 4, 1106 GMT. The news report was updated to include information regarding the special committee

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CAIMRAN on March 8, 2016, 6:17 GMT

    I don't know what's the problem with Mohammad Hafeez, He is not giving any valuable contribution at the top of the order . But what a blessing it had been to Pakistan in the form of Umar Akmal and Shohaib Mallik. They both were central pillars in the batting line up after Sarfaraz Ahmed's promotion in the top order.

  • Hammad on March 7, 2016, 8:32 GMT

    Players are out of shape, can't field, can't call a rum properly, can't rotate the strike at the top of the order and essentially can't execute any fundamental part of playing cricket and yet people are talking about dropping coaches. I have no feelings either way about the coaching staff but these are things you need to know how to do to play at the international level. A coach isn't going to teach you how to catch a ball. This isn't club cricket.

  •   Zeeshan Ashraf Awan on March 7, 2016, 4:19 GMT

    How can a bowling coach can help you with improvement in your batting skills? Seriously? The only problem with Pakistan batting order is that they don't have Batting Coach. What Waqar knows about batting as compared to Javed Miandad, Inzamam, etc ?

  • Gudu on March 6, 2016, 22:39 GMT

    Please change the Coach Waqar Younis. He is a problematic person and is not suitable for the job. He was not selected for coaching services even by an Australian state team. He does not get along with senior players. We need batting coach or consultant like Javed Miandad, Mohsin Khan. We need good Psychiatrist who can motivate the team and solve some psychological issues.

  • Hamid on March 6, 2016, 21:55 GMT

    More international matches. Not just Zimbabwe or Afghanistan. With games at home, too. That is what is needed, Mr. Khan. And that responsibility falls on you.

  • Cricinfouser on March 6, 2016, 20:38 GMT

    we need a salman butt as a opener and abdul Razak allrounder he is the most important to t20 wc

  •   Jahanzeb Dars on March 6, 2016, 18:31 GMT

    Ask Hafiz to play at 6. because he struggle against new ball and is good vs spinners, we need two solid openers who can play 20 overs, solid vs pace and can hit spinners. best choice openers are Kamran akmel and Salman butt. because they are experienced. they are technically solid. they have played in Pressure situations in Past and are in good form recently.. other batting line up is ok. with the exclusion of Saeed and Yasir and Hafiz cant bowl, We donot have Match winning spinners in the squad. so we have to rely on 4 Pacers to do the job. Most experienced and Senior Pacer is Sohail tanvir, who can bat at 8 as well.

    so need inclusion of four players 1:Kamran akmel 2:Salman butt 3:Sohail tanvir 4:Zulfqar Baber

    this should be the xi: 1:Kamran 2:Salman 3:Sarfraz 4:Umer 5:Malik 6:Hafiz 7:Shahid 8:Tanvir 9:Wahab/Babar 10:Irfan 11:Amir

    This team if played with Aggression and proper planning and lead well. then this team have ability to bring WC home

  • Mohammed Athar on March 6, 2016, 18:24 GMT

    We need Abdul Razzak back as captain along with Imran Nazir and Nasir Jamsheed. These are the match winners for Pakistan team and they are required for Pakistan to become tougher in the world T20.

  • unkown on March 6, 2016, 9:32 GMT

    Yes, sweeping changes required starting with Mr Shaharyar Khan himself! It's almost like he is blaming Khurram's selection on Haroon Rashid and distancing himself from the current debacle! It is time that all selection and team issues be dealt by PROMINENT former players, like Wasim, Miandad, Inzi, Waqar et al. The financial side can be managed by financial experts - That's no problem. In saying that, Pak fans also need to lower their expectation. Pak was only a world beating side for only a brief period in its cricketing history - That is when Imran, Miandad and Wasim coincided in the team together. Let's face it, players like that only come once in a few decades. So the likelihood of that happening within the next 20 years is remote! Pak needs to work on team-work, fielding etc to be competitive in the interim.

  •   Tariq Mahmood on March 6, 2016, 8:31 GMT

    Mr Sharyar is reported to have been a former diplomat! He has not considered the message he is sending out to the world by starting this investigation and giving such interviews. Come on man, this is just a game and losing to Bangladesh is not a catastrophe. Be gracious in defeat and admit they have a better team at this point in time. That perhaps applies to all those who are venting their angst on these pages. Teams and nations have their ups and downs - it is a historical process. Let us not squabble over it and belittle our players, who I am sure are trying their best.