Karachi: A can of worms has been opened up following Pakistan's near exit situation from the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy with former players gunning for the heads of the members of the team, head coach Dav Whatmore, selectors and board officials.
Pakistan now need a miracle of sorts to still qualify for the semifinals of the Champions Trophy after their loss to West Indies and South Africa in their group matches, with the batting flopping badly on both occasions.
Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar minced no words in stating that the country's cricket structure needed a complete overhaul.
"We shouldn't be surprised by these results because we neither have quality batsmen nor bowlers and the reason for this is, we are not producing quality talents because of an inapt and mismanaged cricket structure," he said.
Akhtar said since the time he started playing domestic cricket he had seen a lot of mismanagement.
"I came up because of my will to achieve something and not because of this system," he said.
"Our cricket system is about compromises. Be it selection or other matters. The best don't get chance properly. What was the logic in dropping experienced players like Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzaq for such an important event," he asked.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram also called for changes in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
"Someone has to be answerable for this debacle. I would like to see those faces changed who have been around in Pakistan cricket and board for years now and done nothing. The board must bear the responsibility for this debacle," he said.
Akram said that the Pakistani batsmen had laid to waste the good work of the bowlers by playing senseless and defensive cricket, which was hard to comprehend.
"Our batsmen played without a plan. There were no singles or twos at all. No rotation of strike. Things must change now in Pakistan cricket if we are to do well at the top level consistently," said Akram.
Akram also criticised Whatmore for failing to influence the team.
Another former skipper Zaheer Abbas said that batting had remained a problem for Pakistan for a long time now and the board had done nothing to resolve it.
"The board now needs to act urgently and do something to resolve this problem. Long term measures are needed to resolve our batting woes," he said.
Abbas said the way batsmen were playing against the West Indies and South Africa, it was as if they were batting in a Test match.
"Our problem is we play Tests like ODIs and one-day matches like Tests. It is a very disappointing performance and I blame the team management for this, including the coach."
Former Test player and ex-coach of the national team, Mohsin Khan said Pakistan had badly missed the services of seniors Razzaq, Afridi and even Younis Khan.
"I had been saying all along it was a mistake to drop them for this tournament. It has been proved correct. Our batsmen just played very poor cricket and I feel sorry for the bowlers who were outstanding."
Mohsin said there was a clear lack of objective and planning, and people at the helm of affairs in the team now needed to be held accountable.
"Ask them what improvement they have brought about in the team in more than a year," he asked in apparent reference to Whatmore.
Former wicketkeeper-captain Rashid Latif said he was shocked by the performance of the batsmen.
"This team or the batsmen are just showing no improvement. And it doesn't help that there is no consistency in selection of players. Which is why we are facing these problems today. I ask what is this foreign coach been doing for so long? What is his achievement?," asked Latif.
He said not only the national selectors but the coach also needed to be sacked.
"What has this coaching staff done...spoilt talented players like Umar Akmal. The board must do its own soul searching and rectify things," he insisted.
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