Malik & Co to face tough questions at PCB moot today

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Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik will have a lot of questions to answer today (Friday) when he attends a meeting of the national cricket’s think-tank in Lahore, less than 24 hours after arriving from India where his team lost both the one-day and Test series.

Malik and team manager Talat Ali Malik will attend the meeting that would be chaired by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf while a couple of other top Board officials will also be present.

Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson was also supposed to attend the meeting but the Board has permitted him to fly off to hometown Sydney where he is to attend his son’s graduation ceremony, a top PCB official said.

Shafqat Naghmi, the Board’s Chief Operating Officer, told ‘The News’ on Thursday that two of the national selectors — Shafqat Rana and Saleem Jaffer — will also be attending the meeting. Chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed will be absent as he is currently unwell.

“The meeting has been called to carry out a post-mortem of our team’s performance in India,” Naghmi said. “Obviously a lot of questions will be asked because we didn’t really perform well on the tour,” he added.

There have been growing speculations that Pakistan might reshuffle the national team management and may also opt to strip Malik, who was appointed skipper after a disastrous World Cup this March, of his captaincy.

Naghmi did not confirm or deny such rumours but made it clear that the Board was ready to take bold steps needed to improve the performance of the national team. “The meeting will not just be about singling out the people who are to be blamed for the defeats in India. It would be to analyse what went wrong during the tour and more importantly we would be expecting people to come out with solid suggestions to bring improvement.”

Pakistan have a lean period coming up before they host world champions Australia during March-April 2008, and Naghmi said that the Board is looking for ideas that can help Pakistan get ready for the tough assignment against the Aussies.

After showing some promise under Malik following the World Cup fiasco, Pakistan’s campaign to become the world’s top team has received setbacks with back-to-back defeats against South Africa (at home) and in India. The PCB wants to ensure that the trend is reversed against the Aussies.

Naghmi said that the Board may take a few important decisions following the meeting. Ashraf will later address a press conference at the PCB headquarters this afternoon to discuss the details of the meeting.

Source:Cricket News

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