Pak flooded with 'remedies' to restore parity

Published: Friday, April 2, 2004, 23:31 [IST]
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Lahore:Shedding beards, appointment of a sports psychologist, green-top wickets and bowling coach -- these are some of the remedies being suggested to the hapless Pakistani team after its crushing defeat at the hands of India in the Multan Test.

The team's defeat has become a topic of animated discussion everywhere, with the media going after the players as well as coach Javed Miandad and housewives suggesting their own prescriptions.

One lady called a Pakistan TV phone-in programme on Thursday night to suggest that the entire team be replaced while another voiced her admiration for Indian cricketers as well as athletes who are in Pakistan for the South Asian Federation Games. Indians appeared to be better sportsmen and what is wrong in admitting that, she asked.

In an editorial in 'Daily Times', the writer suggested some senior Pakistani cricketers sporting beards to "shed their facial growth" and follow the clean-shaven approach of their Indian counterparts to make a fresh bid to regain lost prestige.

Former Pakistan cricketer and selector Abdul Qadir said the team needed a psychologist to cope up with the pressures and mental trauma caused by the loss of the One-day series and the Multan Test match.

Answering angry and emotional queries from Pakistani people in an interactive programme on state television PTV, Qadir agreed with a caller that the team needed the services of a psychologist to prepare them mentally for the Lahore Test beginning on April 5.

He said the first-ever loss to India in a home series piled up enormous pressure on the team. "It is not enough that the captain and coach do the talking. A psychologist may do a better job to bring the team out of emotional distress," he said.

Qadir said the reaction of the team management, which picked Imran Nazir in place of Saqlain Mushtaq after the Multan Test, showed how confused the coach and captain were.

He said the team dropped a specialist spinner like Saqlain and picked up a batsman, who was made in the mould of impulsive hitter Shahid Afridi. "Afridi was dropped for the Test series after he succeeded in only one of the matches he played in the One-day series... Nazir's inclusion may not be of much help in the next two matches."

Qadir, along with fellow former cricketer, Sayed Buksh, were subjected to some critical questions in the phone-in programme. Reactions varied from callers as one housewife called to express her disgust with the team, which she said should be replaced due to its failure to deliver.

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