WC 2003 - Pak media bays for blood, says weed out wheezy horses

Published: Monday, March 3, 2003, 21:08 [IST]
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Islamabad: A day after uncharacteristically restrained reports on Pakistan's defeat at the hands of arch rival India, the Pakistani media on Monday gave vent to its anger demanding sacking of "wheezy old horses" and cricket board chief Lt Gen Tauqir Zia."After the debacle against India, Lt Gen Zia has an overwhelming moral obligation to resign. He only deserves a chance, if Pakistan actually somehow wins the Cup," 'The Nation' commented editorially. Taking a dig at the military-managed PCB, the paper said "military methods" might have performed "all sorts" of wonders for cricket, which will have all sorts of amazing long-term effects, but the bottom line is that the 1999 finalists are barely a shadow of themselves". "It is someone like Imran Khan, who knows the game and is not hung up on his supposed superiority in other field, who should be given the task of salvaging something from the debris for the next World Cup," it said. The newspaper also blamed faulty selection for the debacle. "If one was to identify a single flaw, it is not so much the team as the selectors who are at fault. There is no longer any correlation between performance and selection. "Inzaman is woefully out of touch, Waqar and Wasim are spent forces. Afridi and Shoaib have serious problems of temperament. It is not as if Pakistan is short of talent. Many young players are waiting for a chance but selectors insist on sticking with wheezy old horses," it said. Another daily 'The News' too said in its editorial that "big bosses" of the PCB should quit owning responsibility for the debacle against India. "Players must not be held solely responsible, the big bosses at the PCB must also face accountability. The best would be their replacement with those who know cricket." The newspaper criticised the team management for dropping spinner Saqlain Mushtaq for the game against India, which allowed the likes of Sachin Tendulkar to bat without any problem. "Saqlain Mushtaq was the lone spinner in the squad, but was sidelined from two crucial games against Australia and India. "When Mumbai's little master Sachin Tendulkar was thrashing the so-called 'Rawalpindi Express' Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis at Centurion, Saqlain's magical spin could have given Pakistan a match-winning wicket. Giving preference to Shahid Afridi over Saqlain is beyond anyone's imagination in Pakistan", it said. Stating that Afridi fell in the bracket of a "medium fastish" leg spinner and less than an average batsman, it said, "He is one of those players who dismantles the whole combination of the squad." A score of 273 was always a good one against India and there was a hope that for the first time the greenshirts would beat India in a World Cup match but constant experimentation with team's composition cost Pakistan the crunch match, it said. PTI Copyright AFP 2001

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