Pakistan cricket team’s wicket-keeper, Kamran Akmal, said his team, in spite of their extraordinary preparations, unfortunately failed to perform well in the World Cup.
“We were well prepared for the World Cup but sadly things turned bad to worst from the beginning for us in the mega event,” he told reporters after a hearing before the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) performance evaluation committee which is probing into team’s shocking exit from the World Cup.
Head of the committee, Ijaz Butt and member Salahuddin recorded the statements of Kamran, former captain Intikhab Alam, former Test cricketer Shafqat Rana and a former official of the PCB Col retd Rafi Nasim.
Third member of the committee, Saleem Altaf could not attend the meeting owing to his official engagements in Islamabad. Kamran said the team did extraordinary hard work to prepare for the World Cup in which, unfortunately, they could not click from the first match and were eliminated in the preliminary stage after losing to minnows Ireland.
He strongly denied that the team members were involved in religious activities at the cost of their cricket affairs. “We followed routine activities (offering of prayers) and there is no truth that we set aside our cricket responsibilities while laying special emphasis on religious activities,” he added.
Kamran said he has no information or knowledge of match-fixing and termed all such allegations “rubbish”. “I have no idea why some of the senior cricketers are levelling such allegations,” he said.
Intikhab Alam, in his brief talk, said “the team selection was not good and it lacked discipline besides some team members had fitness problems as well”. “The team went into the World Cup without any plan and strategy and the results produced have let every body down,” he expressed.
Shafqat Rana said batting failure was the main reason for team’s poor show in the World Cup and the team played without proper planning. “So much so the batting order of the players was not fixed and there was no certainty on which number a player will bat due to which our batting collapsed against the West Indies and Ireland,” he explained.
He urged the PCB to organise their junior cricket on solid and long-term basis and also called for organising the first-class matches on quality basis not on measuring quantity.
“We have to discipline our players from the beginning because at a later stage when they are part of the senior team, chances to improve their skills and alteration in their batting or bowling are bleak,” he added.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket.
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