Karachi, Feb 24: Pakistan's former captain and fast bowling great Wasim Akram has advised the national team management to not involve the players in long meetings/discussions or training sessions ahead of their crucial World Cup match against Zimbabwe.
World Cup Special
"All these long meetings and discussions and hard training will do no good. The best thing now is to allow the players to relax for the next few days and let them come back fresh for their next match," Akram said on Geo News channel.
He said the Pakistani players needed to relax and unwind after the defeats to India and West Indies.
"What has happened cannot be changed but now the players must regroup and come back fresh in remaining matches," he added.
The Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan said yesterday that he had spoken to captain Misbah-ul-Haq and the team management over the team's performances while other reports said that head coach Waqar Younis and manager Naved Cheema had held one to one sessions with the players to counsel them in Brisbane.
Akram said the World Cup was all about pressure and players needed to relax. He also advised the team management to not experiment anymore and go in with specialist wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed and a fourth bowler for the remaining matches.
Akram was also critical of the fact that out of form opener Nasir Jasmshed was seen batting in the nets after he hurt himself while taking a catch and came off the field against the West Indies in Christchurch.
"What was he doing batting in the nets if someone in authority had seen him it could have become a issue. First of all I don't understand how serious was his injury that he could field for the entire innings but come out to bat," Akram asked.
The former captain said Pakistan could still make the quarterfinals provided they played sensible cricket. Another former captain Rashid Latif stirred a new debate in Pakistan cricket circles by writing on his facebook page that how could the team win in the presence of two captains, two coaches and two chairmen of the board.
Latif's post was a clear reference to Misbah and Shahid Afridi, Moin Khan and Waqar Younis and Shaharyar Khan and Najam Sethi in the board. Shaharyar himself indirectly confirmed fears about problems in the team when he said that Moin and Waqar had both advised him to appoint Afridi as captain of the one-day side.
"But I spoke to them and convinced them it was not the right time to make any change," he said.