Pakistan failed to chase down 130 against a lowly-ranked Zimbabwe on Thursday (October 27). It was Babar Azam and Co’s second defeat in as many matches after the four-wicket loss to arch-rivals India.
Soon after, fans and former players turned on Babar, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja, chief selector Muhammad Wasim and head coach Saqlain Mushtaq on social media.
“Very very embarrassing and disappointing,” former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar said.
“The fact is you have to play hard to even beat a team like Zimbabwe they wouldn’t be defeated by themselves. Our selections have been average and our mindset has been average and it has landed Pakistan cricket in this mess today,” he added.
Other former players also expressed disappointment and concern at the state of Pakistan cricket with some describing the defeat as hurting.
“Is this where our cricket has come to? We can’t score 130 runs against a low ranked team like Zimbabwe. If this is our batting quality then God help our cricket,” Former Test opener Mohsin Khan said.
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The former head coach, who also served as chief selector, added that Pakistan didn’t show any intent.
“Zimbabwe bowlers were disciplined and persistent and it was clear they wanted to win this match more then us,” he said.
Test great Javed Miandad also questioned the player selection.
“This is what happens when you allow non-performing batter to remain in the team and keep deserving players out.
“I have said it before international cricket is not a place for learning and unfortunately everytime the team has done badly we have tried to sweep it under the carpet by saying they are learning,” Miandad said.
Miandad said that Pakistan’s approach to the chase was disturbing as no batter appeared to be geared towards finishing the match.
“Seeing the way some of our batters threw their wickets away it was shameful because they are professional cricketers.”
Former captain Rashid Latif said Thursday’s result had left the World Cup wide open and made it more interesting.
“It has become a very difficult situation for Pakistan now to qualify for semi finals but overall it makes the tournament open and shows you can’t take any team lightly nowadays,” he added.
Ex-skipper and opener Salman Butt also slammed the team’s performance and and also questioned Babar’s captaincy.
“These players were not just equipped to play well in Australia and once Muhammad Rizwan and Babar Azam didn’t get going the writing was on the wall for us,” he said.
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“I have been saying all along you don’t make someone a captain so that he can learn while playing and leading the national team. You only appoint someone as captain when you know he has the required leadership qualities to lead the other players well.”
Former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim said all the dreams of Pakistani cricket supporters and fans to watch their team play in the final of the World Cup had been shattered in just one match because of poor captaincy and a timid approach from the batsmen.
“It is a sad and disappointing day for Pakistan cricket really losing to Zimbabwe like this. Our cricket is not really this bad that we should get such a result.”