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March 18, 2007
The reactions to Pakistan's shock first-round elimination from the World Cup has, understandably, enraged passionate fans back home and drawn plenty of criticism. In a nation stunned by Pakistan's three-wicket defeat to Ireland in Jamaica, there have been angry protests, calls for arrest and even Nasim Ashraf, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, hasn't been spared.
"We will ask for his [Ashraf's] resignation in the meeting which is due to take place before March 28," Senator Mohammad Enver Baig, a member of the senate standing committee on culture, sports, youth affairs and tourism told AFP. "You lost miserably to a country like Ireland. There is nothing to compensate and the chairman must resign and go back to the United States.
"The way the team has lost is the most disgraceful performance since the World Cup started. The entire nation is shocked."
Baig said Ashraf had no experience to head the PCB and that his "one-man show" management had resulted in the "shameful defeat." "He is a crony of [President] Pervez Musharraf and the way he [Musharraf] is running the country, the cricket board is also being run in same manner. It is a one-man rule everywhere."
In Multan, Inzamam-ul-Haq's home town, incensed youth held a protest rally, chanted slogans against Pakistan and demanded that police arrest the World Cup squad. The mob was heard chanting, "Death to Bob Woolmer , death to Inzamam, death to Nasim Ashraf - police should arrest them".
Sarfraz Nawaz, the former Pakistan fast bowler, said the shock was "unbearable". "I am speaking with deep pain and this shock is becoming unbearable for me," he said, demanding that those responsible be fired. "The captain, coach and the entire team should be held accountable. It seemed that the umpires also wanted that Pakistan should win, but the body language of the team reflected that they wanted to lose."
The defeat was Pakistan's second after the 54-run loss to West Indies in the tournament opener. Ireland are provisionally at the top of Group D, with three points - one more than West Indies and two ahead of Zimbabwe - leaving Pakistan at the bottom of the table with no points.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.