Pakistan in England, 2006 September 12, 2006

Imran blasts Pakistan's performance

Cricinfo staff

Poor strategy was responsible for Pakistan's disappointing tour of England, feels Imran Khan © AFP

Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain, has severely criticised Pakistan's performance in the recent one-day series against a "weak" England side. Pakistan squandered a 2-0 lead before the fourth ODI at Trent Bridge - the first ODI was abandoned due to rain - as the home side fought back creditably in the last two matches to square the series.

Imran was disappointed that Pakistan had failed to seize the initiative against an England one-day side low on morale, especially after an embarassing 0-5 defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka earlier in the summer.

"This was the poorest performance by any Pakistan team and considering England was the weakest one-day outfit," Imran told AFP. "I am disappointed at the one-day series result. I am amazed at the result, this same England team was thrashed 5-0 by Sri Lanka in one-dayers three months ago."

England had earlier won the Test series 3-0 - which included a forfeited Test at The Oval due to ball-tampering allegations. Imran had blamed injury problems for Pakistan's loss in the Tests, and also criticised Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach, for not helping captain Inzamam-ul-Haq with a proper strategy.

"It all boils down to strategy and where Inzamam-ul-Haq lacks, Woolmer fails to compensate," he said. "Woolmer muddled things and it's amazing that he has failed to find a suitable opening pair in two years. Pakistan is still the most dangerous team after Australia but they are losing one-day matches despite having world-class talent."

Pakistan had completed their longest overseas tour since 1992, with four Tests and five one-dayers, and Imran stated that fatigue could hardly be an excuse.

"I am as surprised as anyone in the public how Pakistan lost. I don't agree that players were tired due to a long tour, some of them were fresh and did not play in Tests."

Imran also disagreed with former captain Rashid Latif's comments that Inzamam should retire from Tests and concentrate on ODIs in order to extend his career. "He still is the best man to lead as he is the best batsman around. Inzamam needs to formulate things and needs to have better planning while playing international cricket and results will be better."