The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will hold a ‘robust review’ of the Pakistan team and its support staff after the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup and submit its recommendations to Ehsan Mani, the chairman, and the Board of Governors (BoG). The review will cover the past three years, from the time the team management began its task, it was decided in the 54th BoG meeting at the PCB headquarters in Lahore.
The Pakistan cricket team has been under intense scrutiny for its abysmal run in the tournament which has seen them losing three out of five matches, while one, against Sri Lanka, was washed out. Pakistan have been struggling for a while – which has seen them record their longest losing streak stretching across 11 matches in ODIs this year and lose their first-ever Test series in the UAE since they adopted it as ‘home venue’ – but the calls for reforms, both in the domestic structure and in the national team, intensified after an 89-run defeat (DLS) against India in Manchester on Sunday which now see Pakistan languishing at number nine on the points table.
The discussion on the team’s run was not a part of the four-point agenda released ahead of the meeting, yet it came under discussion, highlighting the gravity of the situation. “The BoG had a discussion on the Pakistan cricket team’s recent performance across all formats,” the release handed to media after the meeting said. “The members agreed the team’s performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to date has been below expectation, but expressed faith, support and confidence in the side, and hoped they will utilise all their talent and potential in the remaining matches to bounce back strongly and finish on a high.
“It was agreed, and as previously stated, following the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, the PCB will carry-out a robust review and analysis of the side’s and the team support personnel’s performances in the past three years and submit their recommendations to the chairman and the BoG for their consideration.”
With Pakistan’s on-field troubles increasing with the progression of the tournament, the reports of rifts amongst the teammates are emerging in the local media. A PCB spokesperson, while denying the reports, told Cricbuzz that Mani, the PCB chairman, called Sarfaraz Ahmed on Tuesday to express his confidence in his leadership and tell him to stay focus on the task at hand, with four more group matches remaining, rather than getting distracted by what is being reported by the media.
The notion of rifts and cliques in the Pakistan dressing rooms is nothing new. There have been mutinies against captains, which are now on record, over the past decades and senior players have undermined successive captains.
Pakistan have a week’s break before their next game on Sunday which will be against South Africa at Lord’s in London.