Shoaib Malik criticizes Pakistan’s lack of professionalism.
Malik questions team’s excuse of travel fatigue.
Malik urges PCB to implement a rule for B team development.
In a post-match analysis following Pakistan’s exit from the ICC World Cup 2023, veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik expressed strong criticism of Pakistani players, citing a lack of professionalism as a key factor in their disappointing performance against England.
Malik, with 446 international matches under his belt, questioned the team’s excuse of travel fatigue, asserting that other teams in the tournament faced similar schedules without a decline in performance. Speaking on a local sports show, he emphasized the importance of professionalism and suggested that the team’s poor performance was a reflection of this missing element.
“Travelling is an excuse. The whole world is travelling. Look at India’s calendar. Their pacers didn’t lose pace and swing. It is the professionalism, which is missing in our team,” Malik remarked.
The cricketer also criticized the selection process, pointing out that players are often picked based on a single match performance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). He argued that such a selection strategy results in players who may not handle the pressure in crucial situations, leading to issues like cramps.
“You pick players after one match performance in the PSL. When you go to the crunch situation, your nerves will be tightened and then it will be followed by the cramps. It is not that only because of dehydration you get those cramps; it comes because of pressure as well,” Malik explained.
In a call for reform, the 41-year-old urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to implement a rule stating that if a touring team sends its B squad, Pakistan’s B players should face them for development purposes.
“They should make a rule that if the travelling team has sent their B squad, make sure that our B players are facing them for the sake of their development,” Malik suggested.
Despite a strong start in the World Cup campaign with consecutive wins against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, Pakistan faced a four-match losing streak, a first in their World Cup history. The team’s fate depended on other match outcomes, and despite victories against Bangladesh and New Zealand, their hopes were dashed by the result of the Black Caps’ game against Sri Lanka.
This marks Pakistan’s fifth failure to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals in the 21st century, with their last appearance in the semi-finals dating back to the 2011 World Cup against India, which ended in defeat.
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