London: The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Board of Governors (BoG) meeting in Lahore on Wednesday took a soft view of Pakistan’s on-field travails and decided to carry out a “robust review” of the cricket team and its support staff’s performances across formats over the past three years.
Pakistan is placed ninth in the World Cup league standings at the moment, with three points from five matches. But they are mathematically still not out of the tournament. The public announcement of the team’s performance assessment in the middle of the ICC event is believed to be a direct consequence of Pakistan’s virtual no-show against India at Old Trafford.
“The BoG had a discussion on the Pakistan cricket team’s recent performance across all formats. The members agreed the team’s performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to date has been below expectation, but expressed faith, support and confidence in the side, and hoped they will utilize all their talent and potential in the remaining matches to bounce back strongly and finish on a high,” a PCB release stated following the BoG meeting.
It added: “It was agreed, and as previously stated, following the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, the PCB will carry-out a robust review and analysis of the side’s and the team support personnel’s performances in the past three years and submit their recommendations to the Chairman and the BoG for their consideration.”
Over the past three seasons, Pakistan have played 24 Tests, winning eight and losing 15. Their ODI performance, however, has dropped since 2018. In that year, they won just eight ODIs – five against Zimbabwe, one against Hong Kong, one against Afghanistan and one against New Zealand – out of 18 they played. It has been worse this term. In 19 matches so far, Pakistan have won only three and lost 15, with the other one ended as a no-result.
The looming performance evaluation process apparently puts a question mark over Sarfaraz Ahmed’s future as Pakistan captain. Sarfaraz is copping a lot of criticism after the loss against India, especially for his decision to field first.
Head coach Mickey Arthur, too, will be part of the review, although his term expires at the end of the World Cup. The mood in Pakistan is in favor of a change. It is learned that the performance of the Inzamam-ul-Haq-led selection committee will be reviewed as well.
Former Pakistan opener Shoaib Mohammad, however, is hopeful that with Imran Khan (chief patron, PCB) at the helm, corrective measures will be taken. “During previous PCB regimes, especially when Najam Sethi was in charge, Pakistan cricket has fallen from the highest level to the pits.
Shoaib launched a broadside at the coaches, including Arthur, who is in charge at the moment across levels. He described them as “unmitigated failures” in their respective careers. Like many others, Shoaib was also surprised that the Pakistan team management chose to ignore Imran’s advice and batted against India.