PCB chief blasts team after defeat from India

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pakistan's cricket chief on Thursday accused the national team of lacking commitment after they suffered their biggest-ever defeat against arch-rival India.

India thrashed Pakistan by 140 runs in the tri-series match held in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Tuesday. They posted a formidable 330-8 and then bowled Pakistan out for a paltry 190.

"The performance against India was embarrassing,"
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf wrote in the e-mail published in the Pakistani media.

"It is not a question of losing a match but our overall performance and the lack of resolve and commitment bothered me the most,"
it added.

The email, which was addressed to manager Talat Ali and copied to captain Shoaib Malik and Pakistan's Australian coach Geoff Lawson, demanded swift action.

"Please discuss these points and give us your considered response within the next 24 hours so that timely action can be taken before the next match against India on the 14th which will be the final,"
the message said.

Ashraf criticised the selection of the team, which did not include a regular spinner.

"The previous game against Bangladesh had clearly highlighted the characteristics of the track in Dhaka, that the spinners were going to play crucial role,"
said Ashraf of Pakistan's 70-run win over hosts on Sunday.

"The team selected for India game had four fast bowlers. Also, you clearly told me that Malik was 100 per cent fit and therefore was the second spinner in the side. What happened to that? Why did Malik not bowl?"

Ashraf also lashed out at poor fielding against India. Pakistan dropped three crucial catches to allow the Indian openers Viredar Sehwag (89) and Gautum Gambhir (62) put on 155 for the opening stand.

"We dropped some catches in the beginning as well but, watching from here, one felt that we were paralysed in the field. Nobody suggested to the captain that he must have a mini conference -- and take corrective action."

Ashraf criticised wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal for claiming an unfair catch.

"Wicketkeeping was pathetic, especially after Akmal dropped the catch and pretended that he had held on to it," said Ashraf of the catch which Akmal successfully claimed of Sehwag, later ruled not out by the third umpire.

"This is unsporting behaviour but perhaps one has to give him the benefit of the doubt as he may not have realised that the ball had slipped out from his hand, which was picked up by the cameras. I do not want such behaviour from any Pakistani player."

Pakistan also face India and Sri Lanka in the six-nation Asia Cup which they host from June 24-July 6.

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