Karachi, June 19: Even as fans, critics and former players continue to lash out at the national team's performances in the ongoing World Cup, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani has assured captain Sarfaraz Ahmed of the board's full support.
A PCB spokesman confirmed that Mani had called up Sarfaraz on Tuesday and spoken to him about the team and remaining matches of the World Cup. "The Chairman assured Sarfaraz that the board and nation is behind the team and they should try to focus on the matches ahead and give their best," said the spokesperson.
Mani apparently told Sarfaraz that the nation has faith in the team despite the defeats and wanted the players to bounce back strongly in remaining matches. Pakistan has won just one match in five outings in the World Cup so far. Mani will be going to England soon as a guest of the International Cricket Council (ICC) as he was the former chairman of the world body.
A reliable source in the government said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former Pakistan captain, is unhappy that despite his advice the team chose to field first against India. Meanwhile, former captain Intikhab Alam, who was coach and manager of the Pakistan team in two World Cups, said he was concerned about reports that players were breaking curfew hours.
"I hope these reports are not true but the bottom line is that the team management has simply failed to prepare a comprehensive plan and a team for the World Cup." Alam said there was absence of any plan and strategy against the teams Pakistan had played against in the World Cup so far. "It made no sense to me and how can the team management even try to justify bowling first against India is beyond me," he said.
Alam also felt there was no need for the chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq to travel to England before the World Cup and then get involved in team affairs including practice sessions, the selection of playing eleven and team discussions. "Once the selectors have picked the touring squad and given it to the captain and management, I don't think the selectors should be anywhere near the team. I think the PCB made a mistake in sending Inzamam to England officially and get involved in team matters," said Alam.