Ramiz urged players to play fearless cricket using England and India as specific examples, but the players questioned the lack of support to that end by the board and management. One of the more resonant points made was that players are constantly in fear of being dropped after just a couple of bad games, which breeds insecurity. The point being made was that playing fearless cricket doesn't just require the players to be so, it requires fearlessness from the board and management. "Its not like the previous management didn't tell us to be fearless and we didn't want to but there is always a difference in saying and actually making it possible," one player said. "It's not just players but the entire system has to be fearless to make it work."
One of the points made by a senior player in the side was about the management compromising on fitness standards with certain players, having earlier said there would be no compromise. The examples of Azam Khan and Sharjeel Khan were used in this case, the player saying that the entire team had worked hard to adhere to certain strict standards, and that it was a prerequisite for domestic and national selection, and yet these two were picked while adhering to a different standard. This had created uncertainty and doubt in the dressing room about the messaging coming through on fitness.
One of the points raised by the players was the attitude of local coaches and in particular how "judgemental" they are. The players carry a constant sense that a local coach will use their weaknesses against them rather than working with them to rectify it. The communication with coaches about that problem then becomes a reason for players to be axed, according to one player, which further inhibits talking to them about it.
The inability of the board and team management to handle media pressure, one player said, was a source of insecurity within the team, and that this media pressure largely drives selection. He said the pressure felt by the team management often gets transferred down to the players. If someone posts a stat about a player - often without the context of match situation or conditions - on social media, he added, it begins to influence the way the management thinks about that player, and makes the player doubt himself.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent