Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Harare September 15, 2013

Former Pakistan cricketers demand changes


Misbah-ul-Haq and Pakistan's batting have come under severe criticism from the former players with the team's loss in the second Test against Zimbabwe being termed as "embarrassing and shameful". Pakistan dropped two places to sixth in the ICC Test rankings and became the first team other than Bangladesh to lose a Test against Zimbabwe in 12 years.

Ramiz Raja, who has been Misbah's vocal supporter, said his captaincy was bereft of fresh ideas. "Misbah contributed to a change of environment and gave stability to the team," he said. "He has given all he could to Pakistan cricket as captain but there is now a predictability and staleness in his captaincy and our brand of cricket."

"He seems to have ran out of ideas, so we need someone with fresh ideas," Raja said. "I think Misbah's shelf-life is over and with these ideas we will stand nowhere before South Africa (in UAE). It seems excitement and aggression is at the lowest point in our cricket, we want to avoid defeat and this hot-and-cold, up-and-down performances must change.

"No one likes to back a losing side, we need to rethink our priorities and set a new direction or else people will stop following cricket. This is the right time now to have a new captain and introduce some new players. The defeat is embarrassing, frustrating and shameful."

The month-long Zimbabwe tour was one of Pakistan's easier assignments this year and was thought of as preparation ahead of the upcoming tour against South Africa in the UAE. But Pakistan lost the first ODI and in Tests, crossed 300 just once in four innings.

Shoaib Akhtar said that Pakistan have "hit rock bottom as a cricketing nation" and they must address "the batting woes as they were letting the team down"."Misbah is leading the worst-ever Pakistan team," he said. "We don't have good bowlers, we don't have good batsmen and if Misbah is prominent amongst the batsmen then it shows because, with due respect, Misbah is not world class."

Inzamam-ul-Haq declined to comment on the team's performance as he has stopped watching them play.

However, the interim chairman of the PCB, Najam Sethi, took a more balanced view and said that the Pakistan team is in a rebuilding phase. "So what if we lost against Zimbabwe," Sethi said. "Winning and losing is part of the game and even Australia are down these days, so it's a pattern of ups and down. Pakistan had fallen in depths of disgrace over fixing issues, but things are stable now and they have started respecting us back.

"They talk about Misbah and Younis being an older player but Misbah is holding the team, Younis scored double hundred that day. I know where are the problems, if I am able to last longer in the PCB, I will work to make the team (better). But you can't do it at once."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mohammad on September 20, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    Pak cricket is at rock bottom, no question, but is the Captain responsible for that or the selection process? Will captain train the players or the coach? How about the administration? When you have only 2 old batsmen in the team to score, how can you deserve to win? When you are changing players from game to game, how can you have a unit to play and produce results? Is PCB/Selectors/coach able to give an opening pair or a wicket keeper in last 10 years? Go back to the root cause before blaming a solid performer. Why do Ramiz and Shoeb do not question position of Hafiz in the team? Is it the responsibility of 2/3 players to win a match? New blood needed 5 years ago, but PCB did not find replacement of Malik, Kamran, Afridi and so on. You are paying the price now. Take a leaf from other countries. Ponting, Shewag, and many big names had to go for not performing. You can not even make Hafiz to bat at lower order. That is the true story of Pak cricket. 3-0 by SA.

  • MUHAMMAD on September 19, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    We all want NEW players but look how they are performing in that CLT20. Disgraceful..........

    But I agree with Akhtar as well. "We don't have good bowlers, we don't have good batsmen and if Misbah is prominent amongst the batsmen then it shows because, with due respect, Misbah is not world class."

    In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

    He's our only hope in the batting line up.

  • Dummy4 on September 18, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    include Imran Nazir and Abdul Razzaq ino the team

    1.Imran Nazir 2.Mohammed Aamir 3.Asad SHafiq 4.Misbah 5.Shehzad 6.Umer Akmal 7.Abdil Razzaq 8.Umer gul 9.Junaid khan 10.Shahed khan Afridi 11.Ajmal

  • M on September 17, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    My playing 11 against South Africa would be Taufiq, Jamshed/Khurram, Younus, Misbah, Azher Ali, Asad Shafiq/Umar Amin, Umar Akmal(wk), Abdul Rehman, Ajmal, Junaid, Gul. Take Haris Sohail and Rahat as back up with Aizaz Cheema. Drop Azher to 5 for he is out of form at the moment. You do not have a better 11 on merit than this at the moment. Azher can bowl part time leg spin and younus part time seam if at all there is a need. The 2nd seamer is very important and rahat ali is not up to standard. Need Gul back who will add to the batting as well.

  • M on September 17, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    Pakistan definitely need to sit back and do some stocktaking. The real problem is not Misbah or Whatmore or any other individual. The problem is rooted deeper and the fact that there are no international level classy batsmen left in the side after Misbah and Younus. That is something the board and talent hunters need to keep in mind and plan for the future. Instead of panicky blame games and calling for heads, the approach should be pragmatic and with a longer vision in mind

  • Hamza on September 17, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    @Faisal Nawab. A highly ignorant comment. I doubt even a batsman like Ponting can release pressure when you've got no capable batsman at the other end. There was only 1 partnership in the match that in my opinion was cool and calm and it never looked like a wicket was around the corner and that was of Younis and Misbah. Please stop criticising Misbah for the team's failure. He is the only one in the team that can play swing and pace confidently. All the rest can't play even when Ivory Coast is bowling in swinging conditions.

  • Khawaja on September 17, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    i think the team needs two more batsmen..the clear failures were hafeez and asad shafik...they should be replaced as batsmen with ahmed shehzad opening and sohaib masood in teh middle order...the fast bowling looked ordinary until the last match when teh wicket had huge cracks...maybe adding mohammed irfan would do teh trick...he has much more variety than rahat and junaid...at the moment we donot have an obvious choice for a new skipper so will have to continue with misbah even though he does seem ordinary and is not willing to experiment...with ajmal getting older two spinners is a necessity...although we could toy with the idea of ajmal as captain as he has been playing since 1998

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    I have never seen a match in which Misbah scores and pakistan win the match, A great batsman releases the pressure from the team whereas Misbah increases it. Misbah Bats at a snails pace and the pressure increases, that results in loosing matches. Misbah seems to be impressive if we look at his statistics in 2013 but He is not that much better

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Our test square should be Khurram Manzoor,toufique Umer, Younus khan,Mishbah (captain),Umer Amin,Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal,Harris shohail,Asad Shafiq,Adnan Akmal,Junaid khan,Rahat Ali, Ehshan Adil, Saeed Ajmal, A. Rehman

    Our ODI squad should be Nasir Jamshed, A.shehzad, hafiz, Younus khan ( captain)Umer Amin, Shoaib maqsood,Harries Shohail, Zulfiqar Babar,Saeed Amjad, Umer Gul, Afridi, Umer Akmal, Junaid, Rahat Ali, Wahab Riaz, Shan ,

    Our T20

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    Ahmed sehzad,Khurram Manjoor,Imran Farhat,Yunus khan,Misbah ul haq,umer Amin,umer Amal,Saeed Jamal,Abdul Rahman,zunaid khan,rahat Ali .....pick this eleven if you want to win...