It has been going downhill for Pakistan of late. An early exit from the World T20, which came on the heels of the Asia Cup ouster, confirmed their slide. Blame game is on and captain Shahid Afridi and coach Waqar Younis are in the firing line. Here is how it all unraveled for the team. (STATS || POINTS TABLE || FIXTURES)
March 21: Midway into the World T20, and with Pakistan still alive, PCB chief Shaharyar Khan decided to jump the gun. On his return to Lahore from Kolkata, he said: “He (Shahid Afridi) is captain till the World Cup under this understanding and he has said he will retire after the event. Even if he changes his mind and wants to carry on we will have to see whether he can be picked as a player or not.”
March 22: Pakistan edge closer to the precipice after losing to New Zealand in Mohali. Chasing 181 for victory, they could only manage 158/5. “Our cricket is 10 years behind the modern game. We are lagging behind teams like New Zealand, because we haven’t updated or upgraded our system. You can’t keep repeating your mistakes and then expect different results,” said Wasim Akram.
March 25: Pakistan faced Australia in a survival game, again in Mohali. They lost by 21 runs and crashed out of the World T20. “Whatever we say now will sound like an excuse. There has been no cricket in Pakistan in the last six-seven years and the consequences of that are starting to show. There is a bit of decline. It is very important to address it. We need to see where the infrastructure and domestic cricket is headed,” said Waqar.
March 27: The iconic former Pakistan captain Imran Khan took to Twitter to vent his ire. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was his target. “The reason cricket has, unlike elsewhere, failed to become an institution in Pakistan is because here PM appoints PCB Chief. Correct analysis of the current cricket crisis can lead to reforms and take Pak to top of world cricket. Incorrect analysis will compound failure.”
March 29: Waqar offered to quit after being targeted for the debacle. His contract runs until June, but the PCB is likely to replace him. Shaharyar Khan is open to hire an overseas coach. “I place my hands together and beg forgiveness from the nation. If my leaving makes things better, then I would do it without delay,” Waqar told reporters.
March 30: Waqar submits his WT20 report to PCB and tears into Afridi, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad. “Over several occasions, I had made it clear that Shahid Afridi was not performing with the bat, ball or as a captain but I was not listened to. I can assure you that sacrificing one Umar Akmal will allow us to develop other players who can truly and proudly wear the star on their chest and represent Pakistan.”