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PCB wants players to display more mental toughness

Lahore, Dec 15 (UNI) The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Dr Nasim Ashraf, has alleged that the Pakistan players displayed a dintinct lack of mental toughness, professionalism and focus during the recently-concluded tour of India.

Ashraf, who addressed a press conference here yesterday to highlight the reasons that led to Pakistan losing a Test series against India after 27 years, said he was presented a detailed account of the tour by manager Talat Ali Malik and skipper Shoaib Malik.

''We believe that our team didn't show much mental toughness and professionalism during the tour of India,'' Nasim said.

Ashraf said that the sudden batting collapse on the last day of the third Test in Bangalore proved that the players needed to strengthen their temperaments and mental attitude if they want to hold their own during tough situations.

''Pakistan had all but lost the final Test at Bangalore but they were rescued by bad light in the end.'' Putting the onus on the coach to rectify this malady he said, ''To improve the mental toughness is the job of coach Geoff Lawson who has a good thinking mind and the ability to achieve this task.'' ''We are certainly going to talk to Lawson about it.'' Expressing his complete faith in Lawson the PCB Chairman said, ''He will remain our coach and we are hopeful Pakistan will become a force under his wings.'' Criticising Mohammad Younis for his irresponsible attitude leadership, Ashraf said it was the PCB which offered him the vice-captaincy for the Indian tour inspite his reluctance to take up the job.

''However, the PCB now has some good options and a new vice-captain will soon be named for the coming year.'' Younis acted as the stand-in vice-captain during the last two Tests after skipper Shoaib Malik was injured during the first Test at Delhi.

The PCB Chairman showered praise on new batting sensation Misbah-ul-Haq, who was the highest scorer among the Pakistan batsmen during the India tour.

''Though it will take time for any player to replace a player like Inzamam, Misbah has proved himself to be a tremendous asset after playing those memorable innings,'' he said.

Ashraf was also pleased with the potential shown by Sohail Tanvir and Yasir Arafat. But he was critical of wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.

''In order to improve his wicketkeeping, Kamran along with other upcoming wicketkeepers will shortly be attending a training camp conducted by the former captain Rashid Lateef in Karachi,'' he stated.

Pakistain cricket has been in turmoil after the disastrous India tour which saw them lose both the one-dayers as well as the Test series.


Story first published: Saturday, December 15, 2007, 14:33 [IST]
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