If the building process is continuous, there is no need to re-build. Whenever I used to read about preparing the Pakistan team for the World Cup, I would write that the World Cup should not be seen as a cut-off point and there would be cricket after the World Cup.
That we should not put all our eggs in one basket. There is certainly no need to panic and start throwing all the furniture out. At the same time, there is a need to find out why such a talented team underperformed, why there was such a rash of 'lean patches'.
We won't get very far if we look for scapegoats. Cricket is a team game and it is the team that stands together or falls apart, together. Cricket does not accept the division of a team into senior and junior players.
Nor does an arbitrary age-factor come into it. Look at Aravinda de Silva or Andy Flower or Javagal Srinath, for proof that he who is old in years may be young in hours, it is the spirit that must be willing.
Last year, Pakistan went to Australia to play in an indoor tournament. Pakistan beat Australia and we kept dining out on that success and it became a term of reference even when it had become abundantly clear that it was that one swallow that did not herald the summer.
We were called a 'mercurial' and an 'unpredictable' team and we accepted this, as if, it was a badge of honour. Cricket at the highest level demands consistency. An egg has to be good, it cannot be partly good.
Consistency requires discipline and discipline cannot be imposed. A player does not have to be told or reminded that he has to stay focused. If it has to be drummed into him, then that player is in the wrong profession.
Every team has a coach. Richard Pybus laments that there were players in the team who refused to learn. Learn what? Learning how to bowl line and length? Shot selection?
A child is toilet-trained. Once trained, he doesn't have to be trained over and over again. I happen to believe that at the highest level, there is no need for a coach. An Under-15 team may need a coach.
At an international level, a player should be able to work out on his own what he is doing wrong. He doesn't need a tutor. Self-improvement comes with self-discipline. Sachin Tendulkar needed a coach when he was a schoolboy.
Imran Khan and Javed Miandad took Wasim Akram under their wing, but once launched, he was on his own. There seems to be no need for Pybus making statements. He does not come into the equation.
Television coverage has been so good that we don't want to be told what went wrong. We already know. Those who met me or telephoned me during our matches did not get a pep-talk but a brutal assessment that the team's management was not allowing for local conditions, that it had brought a script with it and was not prepared to change it, that the body-language suggested that the players were not enjoying their cricket and, therefore, the team was either over-awed or not awed enough. It seemed a distracted team.
Of course, there should be changes but only if we are rebuilding and if we accept that the process is a painful one. Unfortunately, such is the poor quality of domestic cricket, it is an unreliable nursery.
Pakistan needs to concentrate on Under-19 and 'A' team tours, send the young players out to play under different conditions so that a bank of players is created and there should be an 'understudy' system, for every player in the national team, there should be one waiting in the wings. This should be an in-built mechanism.
The decision whether a player should retire is something that a player needs to decide himself. He needs to heed his inner voice. But a player's reputation should not warrant automatic selection. We too need to change the method of appointing a captain.
Every player should be good enough to be in the playing eleven. A captain should be good enough to make it on his abilities, no bonus should be awarded if he is a good captain. A captain should earn his keep as a player.
The word 'accountability' has lost its credibility. But we should be able to carry out a study of what went wrong and pinpoint the mistakes. The team was accompanied by a large number of officials. What was their contribution?
We must get the World Cup out of our system but not before ensuring that the same mistakes are not made all over again. Perhaps, we need to change the mindset and introduce a performance-related system. Earn your keep!