ISLAMABAD – Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has said that there is a dire need to find out root cause and start work on to take Pakistan cricket forward in a better way.
In an interview with The Nation, Latif said: “Political appointments have always ruled the roost. I can challenge, even if all the PCB top brass and team is sent home, even then problems won’t resolve, as one of us will take over the reins. No one is ready to invest on grassroots level, domestic circuit and district, region and associations level. One must understand the root cause of the Pakistan cricket debacle and then start work on addressing the root causes.
“All will only give statements for two weeks or so and then everybody will forget and stop talking. In new Pakistan, we need good things to happen, where merit must prevail, as it is the only way of taking Pakistan cricket forward, or else, we will fall way back and it will take decades to come out,” he added.
The former captain said: “The problem started after Champions Trophy as all were taking credit of victory, flying very high and were not in a mood to pay heed towards commonsense. We lost baldy against Sri Lanka, but no one moved. Hafeez has suspected bowling action reported and he was out f the team. Head coach Mickey Arthur clarified that Hafeez can no longer play for national team while Wahab Riaz was told that he is not a match winner and Azhar Ali was forced to take retirement. But one or two players were not disturbed, who need to say goodbye to cricket.”
“I know, like others who have basic information about cricket, that majority of these team management members have just one thing in mind and that was survival till World Cup, they were automatically ready for the axe. Now it doesn’t make any sense of talking about sending these incumbent people home. They all know their destiny, senior and junior players were aware about their fates,” he added.
Latif said: “Two seniors and two juniors badly disappoint the country. Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Hafeez were huge flops and Pakistan team was relying heavily on these two players, while juniors Shaheen Shah and Muhammad Hussnain were also huge disappointments. Hussnain didn’t play in World Cup matches yet, but Shaheen failed to make any impact. I don’t think Haris Sohail should be in the World Cup squad. The team management doesn’t know Asif Ali is in the playing XI or not. Imam-ul-Haq must have in mind, how many openers he had crossed to get place in the national squad, so he has to give his 200 percent to justify his place in the national team,” he added.
“Now it is crystal clear that Fakhar Zaman has a lot of technical issues. Hassan Ali is completely out of form and is badly struggling and nowhere near to what was expected from him. Muhammad Aamir is no doubt taking wickets, but what is the benefit for Pakistan team, when he is not providing wickets upfront,” he added.
“India is way ahead of Pakistan team. They started work on the team four years back, when Dhoni took over and they had well-balanced squad against Pakistan. Indian team had so much bench strength, that they had the liberty of resting any given player including skipper Virat Kohli. We don’t stand any contest with Indians at the moment. I don’t think all the mistakes are only done by the players, I feel those, who select them and appoint them, are equally or more responsible for the present situation,” Latif concluded.
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