| || |
Pakistan's cricket fraternity reacted with shock and anger to the team's three-wicket loss to Ireland in their group stage match in Jamaica with Intikhab Alam, the former player and coach of Pakistan, calling it the "lowest point in Pakistan cricket". Ireland bowled out Pakistan for 132 and then chased the score with 32 balls remaining to send Pakistan crashing out of the World Cup.
"Irish players rose to the occasion, they meant business and looked more motivated than us,'' Alam told Associated Press. With Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Abdul Razzaq, Pakistan's key fast bowlers, not making the squad due to injuries, the side had been considerably weak going into the opening match of the World Cup. But Alam refused to put down injuries as an excuse for the loss. "No matter who was playing for us and who was not [playing], the bottom line is that still we had more experienced players in our ranks than Ireland,'' he insisted.
Rashid Latif said that as a former Test captain he felt ashamed by Pakistan's defeat. "It's [the defeat] a crime with cricket, what else do they want? It's better they should leave,'' Latif said. "All the [Pakistan] former Test cricketers kept pointing toward the weaknesses in our team for months before the World Cup but nobody listened. I was not expecting such a shameful performance. I have no words to describe it.''
Sarfraz Nawaz, the former Paksitan fast bowler, said that if the team couldn't beat Ireland then Pakistan cricket was in the wrong hands. "It's better that all who are responsible for this should be shown the door.," said Nawaz. "The wicket was suitable for seamers and Ireland won the crucial toss, but we lost fair and square without putting up a fight.''
The chief selector, Wasim Bari, agreed that the loss was disappointing but refused to comment any further on the matter. Meanwhile Nasim Ashraf, the chairman of the Pakistan board, expressed deep disappointment over Pakistan's loss to Ireland in their group stage match in Jamaica. Ashraf said that having taken over as chairman of the ad-hoc committee less than six months ago, he and the board had decided to maintain continuity in order to strengthen the team. He added that a comprehensive new plan for the development of cricket in Pakistan would be launched after the World Cup.
The ad-hoc committee is scheduled to meet on March 31, after the team returns, in Lahore to discuss a future plan to build a strong cricket setup.