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"
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