T20 World Cup: Pakistanis demand accountability after cricket team crashes out

Islamabad: The Pakistan cricket team has suffered the biggest embarrassment in the T20 World Cup as it failed to reach the second round of the competition for the first time. The team’s performance has not gone well with Pakistanis back home, who are demanding strict action against the whole team, the selectors, and a complete overhaul of the cricket setup under the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Their upset defeat against the USA followed by an excruciating loss against India had pushed the Pakistan team against the wall. Their slim hopes depended on the USA losing to Ireland and other matches going in favour to pave its way into the second round. But the rain got in the way and caused the abandonment of the USA versus Ireland match, dashing Pakistan’s hopes, and forcing them to make the long ride home with hanging heads.

The team’s ouster from the T20 World Cup has left the fans disappointed and seething with anger.

“All of these players should be removed. The players, the team selectors, coaches.. all of them should be thrown out of the team and a new system should be brought in as their replacement”, said a resident of Islamabad, who expressed his anger on the team’s performance in the World Cup.

“The ongoing favouritism among some players, the captain, and his lobby has ruined the team altogether. They all are paid such hefty amounts of money by the PCB every month. These players blackmail the board and the selectors to keep their favoured players in the team and deliberately ignore and reject the newcomers, who were kept on the benches despite their great performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL)”, he added.

On the other hand, former players and commentators have also lashed out at the cricketers and the board for continuing to allow lobbying in the camp.

“All of these players should be thrown back into the domestic circuit and told to play there for at least two years before even thinking about getting into the national team. Enough is enough, this ‘group of four’ in the team has ruined the careers of deserving players who work so hard in the domestic circuit and perform consistently, only to be selected for the national team and be confined to the dressing rooms. This has to stop”, said former opening batsman Ahmed Shahzad.

Pakistan team’s early exit from the T20 World Cup has come as a huge disappointment for the cricket fans, who are criticizing the players for their low-standard performances, the captain Babar Azam for his lack of leadership and match understanding, and the selectors for ignoring youngsters who were in the squad but ended up seeing their team get eliminated without even playing a single match.

PCB is now gearing up for a major overhaul and review of the team’s performance and is expected to make major decisions in the coming days.

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi has said that major surgery is required in the team, hinting at an expected cancellation of players’ central contracts, including the captain Babar Azam and other senior players. -IANS

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