Saddened by Pakistan’s pathetic show at the Champions Trophy, former captains Wasim Akram and Rameez Raja on Sunday lashed out at side’s “spineless” batting and said the time has come for rebuilding the team.
Pakistan lost all the three Group matches to crash out of the tournament.
“What has really concerned me is that we could not play out our full quota of overs in even one match. The batting generally has been spineless and shameful. This is not the way to play in a top tournament. I think it is time changes were made in the team and youngsters were given proper chances to establish themselves,” Akram said.
“For too long we have been relying on the same players who have failed us again and again,” the bowling great added.
Except skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, all others came in the firing line of Akram and Rameez. Misbah scored two half-centuries in Pakistan’s defeats to West Indies and South Africa when the team fell for under 200 runs.
“I don’t see any threat to his future. He was your only batsman to play the way other players should have played. I can say if Misbah had not scored runs on the tour this team the way it batted could have even been bowled out for totals of 30 or more,” Akram said.
The former great also lashed out at all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez who is being touted by a strong lobby as a possible replacement as captain for Misbah.
“I don’t think Misbah should be changed as captain. Hafeez is just not mature enough or ready for this job. They call him professor and all that but first he must prove himself by being a match winner for Pakistan in the big matches, then consider him as future captain,” Akram said bluntly.
Raja also called for hard decisions.
“I was appalled and sad by the way our batsmen performed. For too long our bowlers have put their hands up and supported the batsmen. Unfortunately there is no balance between the two in our team and that is the major problem,” he said.
“We must learn from India. For the first time in my life I was sure this Indian team will beat us. I am sad by the indifferent and irresponsible attitude of some of the players. The time has come for changes and a new team to be rebuilt.”
Rameez also said that Pakistan’s entire cricket structure needed to be revamped with special focus on domestic cricket competitions.
“The unfortunate part is that we have focused only on quantity not quality in our domestic cricket and the result is no one takes it seriously neither is it producing the quality players we had in the past,” he said.
He said honest administrators were also required to revamp Pakistan cricket’s structure with hard and honest decisions in line.