PCB chief blasts Babar Azam and Pakistan, hints at major upheaval after loss to India: ‘We have to go for major surgery’

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By Mahtab Ahmad

After a poor start to the T20 World Cup, Pakistan cricket seems to have hit rock bottom. The defeat against the USA was an alarming sign for them. Babar Azam and Co. failed to hold their nerves under pressure against the team, which is not even a Test-playing nation. However, they didn’t learn from their mistakes and succumbed under pressure against arch-rivals India.

Pakistan lost a low-scoring thriller against India by 6 runs.(AP)
Pakistan lost a low-scoring thriller against India by 6 runs.(AP)

Meanwhile, the back-to-back losses have put their campaign hanging in the balance as the elimination threat looms large. Pakistan Cricket Board chief Mohsin Naqvi also broke his silence after the team’s dismal show in the first two matches. It’s not very common when a cricket board’s chief criticises their team midway through the tournament, but Naqvi didn’t shy away from slamming the players as his management has come under the scanner too. He re-appointed Babar Azam as the white-ball captain after taking over the charge of PCB, but with the recent results, he has been facing heat for his decision.

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Naqvi didn’t mince his words while slamming the Pakistan players and indicated a major overhaul after the T20 World Cup.

“I thought the team required minor surgery to start winning matches but now it appears that we have to go for major surgery,” Naqvi was quoted as saying by the Pakistani media in New York.

The PCB chief was disappointed by the team’s poor start to the campaign as they are placed at the fourth spot on the points table. He has admitted that it’s time for PCB to start looking for new players as the current set of players has failed to produce results on the big stage.

“It is very disappointing the way we lost to the USA and now this loss to India. We need to now start looking at players beyond those in the team right now,” he added.

To keep their Super 8 hopes alive, Pakistan now have to win their remaining matches and rely on other teams’ results to progress. This was also the case in last year’s ODI World Cup when they were eliminated from the group stage.

Naqvi, who took over as chairman in January, made it clear that the PCB had done everything to facilitate the players, and now they will sit down to make plans for the future.

“Why the team is not performing is something everyone is asking. The World Cup is still on. But obviously, we will sit down and take a look at everything,” he concluded.

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