• Thursday, July 25, 2024

CRICKET

Sack entire Pakistan team and not coaches, fumes Akram after incredible loss to India

The former cricketer accused a number of senior cricketers of the team of lacking game awareness and said some of them were not even on talking terms.

Naseem Shah of Pakistan Shows dejection after his team lost to India in ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup match at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium on June 09, 2024 in New York, US. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

PAKISTANI cricket legend Wasim Akram on Sunday (9) blasted his country’s national team after it lost against arch-rivals India by six runs in the T20 World Cup in New York, US, squandering advantages to pocket a game they looked favourites to win.

The former left-arm seamer picked individual members of the team besides remarking that for a change, the entire Pakistan team should be removed instead of the coaches. Getting rid of the coaching crew is a common practice in many of south Asia’s cricket-playing nations following poor performances by the team.

Recently, former South African cricketer Garry Kirsten joined the Pakistan cricket team as the head coach of white-ball formats and the current tournament in the West Indies and the US is the side’s first under him.

Pakistan looked in control of the match against India for most part after choosing to bowl in overcast conditions. They bowled out the opponents for a paltry 119 in 19 overs, picking their last seven wickets for only 30 runs. Chasing the modest target, the Green Shirts were comfortably placed at 80 for 3 in the 15th over but the dismissal of their wicket-keeper-batter Muhammad Rizwan, who was their highest score with 31, triggered a collapse and Pakistan could manage only 113 for 7 wickets in 20 overs, losing by six runs.

Read: Pakistan snatch defeat against India from jaws of victory

Akram, 58, who is doing commentary for the World Cup, slammed the senior cricketers of Pakistan saying they lack “game awareness” after none could bat till the end on a tricky wicket of Nassau County International Cricket Stadium against India.

Speaking on Star Sports after the match, Akram said, “They (Pakistan cricketers) have been playing cricket for 10 years, and I can’t teach them. Rizwan has no game awareness.”

Read: Rohit backs Kohli ahead of Pakistan clash: ‘The kind of experience he has’ 

Rizwan was bowled by India’s pacer Jasprit Bumrah who produced a match-winning performance with the ball to script his team’s victory. The same batter got a life when India’s Shivam Dube dropped him off Bumrah’s bowling earlier in the innings but the Indian pacer had his revenge.

“He should have known that Bumrah was given the ball to take wickets and that the wise thing would have been to play his deliveries cautiously. But Rizwan went for a big shot and lost his wicket,” Akram said about Rizwan’s downfall.

No other batter could take it forward from there and some good catching by Indian fielders ensured that their team had the last laugh.

“Iftikhar Ahmed knows one shot on the leg side. He has been a part of the team for years but doesn’t know how to bat,” the former cricketer criticised the veteran batter who also perished against Bumrah in the penultimate over while trying to hit him big.

“I can’t go and tell about the game awareness Fakhar Zaman. Pakistani players think that if they don’t perform well, the coaches will be sacked, and nothing will happen to them. It is time to keep the coaches and change the entire team,” Akram added.

Akram also said that Pakistan captain Babar Azam and bowling spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi are not on talking terms since the change of captaincy.

“There are players who don’t want to talk to each other. This is international cricket, and you play for your country. Make these players sit at home,” the legend said.

Having lost to the US in their first match in Texas in Super Over, the defeat against India means Pakistan are now on the brink of an early exit. They still have two games left but even big wins against Canada and Ireland might not ensure the 2022 runners-up a berth in the Super Eight.

The win also extended India’s win record against Pakistan in T20 World Cups to 7-1.

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