Pakistan's one-day slump April 26, 2006

Imran lashes out at 'atrocious decisions'

Cricinfo staff

Imran Khan: 'Fielding cannot be improved by appointing coaches' © Getty Images

Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain, has blamed the team management's "atrocious" strategies for the side's recent slump in one-dayers. He also criticised the decision to appoint Jonty Rhodes as fielding coach and their decision not to play Mohammad Sami in the recently concluded tour of Sri Lanka.

Although Pakistan enjoyed a successful ODI season last year - which included away victories in West Indies (3-0) and India (4-2) - they have appeared a little inconsistent since then. Though they beat England at home, they were thumped by India in February 2006. Including the series against England, Pakistan's success rate has dropped considerably, and they have lost as many matches as they won (seven out of 15 with one winning as one no-result. "In one-day cricket, other teams put their best batsmen at No. 2, 3, 4 and 5. But Pakistan keeps its best batsman at No.6 and 7," Imran told the Press Trust of India. "Inzamam-ul-Haq ran out of partners in Abu Dhabi because he was batting lower down the order. I don't know who is behind these atrocious decisions."

While criticising the Pakistan board's decision to keep Mohammad Sami out of the Sri Lanka tour, Imran said that, Pakistan will need fast bowlers like Sami, Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar to be fit, to maintain their winning streak against England. Pakistan has not lost a series in England since 1982, when Imran side was beaten 2-1 by David Gower's men.

When asked about the team's need for a fielding coach, Imran said, "The Pakistan cricket team has a bowling coach. Now they have a fielding coach and the skipper himself is a batsman. I don't understand what will Bob Woolmer do." Rhodes is set to spend two weeks with the Pakistan cricket team and work on their fielding skills before their departure for the tour of England in July.

"Fielding cannot be improved by appointing coaches", he continued. "The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has to understand that Australia and South Africa are good fielding sides because their players play [domestic cricket] on good grounds and in near perfect structure."