Pakistan side no chokers: Woolmer

Published: Sunday, October 17, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Lahore:Pakistan's English coach Bob Woolmer admitted his cricket squad was not clicking as a unit in big games, but said such teams should not be called chokers as it was a common symptom in a team's growth phase.

"When I was South African team coach they were unfairly labelled with chokers tag so I did some research on teams who don't quite win big games and found a common theme that teams growing together miss out on important games," Woolmer told AFP on Sunday.

Woolmer, who played 19 Tests for England before coaching South Africa between 1994-1999, was reacting after Pakistan lost the tri-series final by 119 runs to Asian champions Sri Lanka on Saturday.

"We were in prime form on Saturday ... weren't overconfident and in the right mood but Sri Lanka played better than us and we have to say in cricket only one side win and everyone would have liked Pakistan to win.

"The chokers tag ... was unfairly labelled at South Africa," said the coach.

"The main big one was the tied 1999 World Cup semi-final and it was not choking but one of those things which happens in cricket."

Woolmer's new team had a third big match defeat after losing the final of the Holland tri-series in August this year followed by semi-final loss to the West Indies in the ICC (International Cricket Council) Champions Trophy last month.

"They have been with me for three months and as the team grows it tends to miss out on important games because it doesn't quite believe that they can win yet, we have to be honest, maybe we are not ready to win yet," he said.

"Maybe we haven't quite clicked as a complete unit, clicking in certain games but not in one that counts so maybe that is a symptom of the growth phase, its not an excuse but we have to find reasons of why we are not winning the important games," said Woolmer.

The 56-year-old Woolmer replaced Pakistan great Javed Miandad in June this year and under him Pakistan have won 11 of their 16 one-day matches to rise TO fourth in the ICC one-day rankings.

"In the ICC Trophy West Indies played better than us and, of course, with the controversy of whether we should have batted first or bowled first, it's not easy to assess why we are failing in big time games."

Pakistan failed to reach the 288-run target in the final after successfully chasing 294 against Sri Lanka in the last league match on Thursday.

"I would like to win a trophy for Pakistan and when we don't do that the pressure builds up, but the positive factor is that we reached two finals and one semi-final."

Woolmer said he could not call for patience all the time but as a coach he had to have patience.

"But in cricket I have to have faith in the team and back them hundred percent and work them until they do win trophies."

Woolmer said his batsmen will have to occupy crease in the two Tests with the first starting at Faisalabad from October 20.

"Tests will be very different games, over five days where you have to occupy the crease.

"Pakistan had Hanif Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas and Majid Khan who used to bat for a long time and this next generation will have to emulate that and have to fight for every ball over a period of five days," Woolmer said.

Write Comments