WC 2003 - PCB orders inquiry into team~~s dismal performance in WC

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2003, 1:19 [IST]
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Islamabad: As Pakistan failed to reach the Super Six stage of the World Cupfollowing its worst ever show in the tournament since 1975, the Pakistan CricketBoard (PCB) on Tuesday announced an inquiry into the team's dismal performancein South Africa.Pakistan has reached the semi-finals of all the World Cups since 1979 except the1996 edition when it was beaten by India in the quarter-finals. In the first WorldCup in 1975, it failed to make it to the last four stage."I do not think it should be taken lightly," Pakistan Cricket Board chief Lt GenTauqir Zia said on state television here as Pakistan's slim hopes of reaching theSuper Six, which hinged on a big victory against Zimbabwe, were being washed outby rain.The abandonment of the game against Zimbabwe meant Pakistan finished itsleague engagements with just 10 points from six matches, ahead only of minnowsHolland and Namibia in Group A standings. Zia said the inquiry, to be headed by former cricketer Naushad Ali, would go intoall aspects and would assess the contributions of the coach and manager besidesperformances of the players themselves.He said the high-profile team led by Waqar Younis had no excuse for their shoddyperformance and did not have his sympathies for the losses. "We need to performat our best. We must admit that we failed totally in all aspects, whether it isbowling, fielding, game plan or attitude," Zia said.Pakistan suffered a humiliating loss to India apart from being thrashed by bothAustralia and England in the league matches.However, Zia did not refer to Monday's incident in which senior playersInzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan came to blows during training in Bulawayo,though the inquiry was expected to cover player discipline also.The inquiry would be conducted after team manager Shahryar Khan submitted histour report to the PCB. Several senior players including captain Waqar Younis,Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Rashid Latif are expected to announce theirretirement after the team's return. Pakistan is also almost certain to have a new coach as the contract of incumbent Richard Pybus was till the World Cup only and is unlikely to berenewed. PTI

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