Karachi: Pakistan's cricket chiefs are still scratching their heads working out how England stole victory from the jaws of a draw to clinch the Test series here earlier this month. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Lieutenant General Tauqir Zia on Wednesday said he had a two-hour, one-on-one meeting with captain Moin Khan in Lahore to "unearth what went wrong.""I had a detailed meeting with the captain and we tried to unearth what went wrong against England and in future we want the players to lift their performance," Zia told AFP. Khan has come in for some stinging criticism following the 1-0 series loss to an England team, which had been expected to crumble in the face of Pakistan's spin attack. His detractors say he played negative cricket and relied too much on favourable pitches, which in the end failed him, rather than scoring runs and taking wickets."The captain must control the team properly and we want to achieve good results. Even if we lose it should be after a spirited fight," Zia said. Khan shocked some commentators when he told journalists midway through the last Test that the match was heading for a draw, when clearly a Pakistani victory was not out of the question. England went on to snatch a win in the dying minutes of the match, giving them their first Test triumph here since 1961-62 and ending Pakistan's unbeaten Test record in Karachi. Khan tried to play down Tuesday's meeting, saying it was "nothing special.""There was nothing special but we discussed in detail the team's performance against England and of course the loss was disappointing," he said.The PCB advisory council starts two days of deliberations on Wednesday to analyse the causes of the team's defeat and plan for the future.The board has also not escaped the barbs of cricket lovers here, with the three-member selection committee headed by former wicket-keeper Wasim Bari facing the axe for choosing unbalanced combinations.Former captains Imran Khan and Intikhab Alam slammed the PCB for its timid approach to the game, pointing out that Pakistan has lost four home series since 1998.
Copyright AFP 2000