ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s legendary cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said Thursday the country’s cricket team has “enough talent” but there was a need to get the team combination right.
Khan’s reaction came after Pakistan exited from the Asia Cup T20 title race yesterday, following a five-wicket defeat at the hands of Bangladesh. Top order remained the team’s major concern.
Pakistan, after recovering from 28-4 posted 129-7, came within touching distance of victory after the 18th over, before Bangladesh reached a winning total of 131-5 and secured a place in Sunday’s final against India.
“Pakistani cricket fans anger at unceremonious exit of Pakistan team From T20 Asia Cup is understandable as our nation is oozing with talent,” Khan, who captained Pakistan to the World Cup victory in 1992, tweeted.
Khan underscored the need to make appointments in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on merit. “This talent can only be polished if PCB becomes an institution built on merit, [including] selection of its head purely on merit,” he said.
“But how can we expect [Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif] to select PCB chief on merit when all [organisations] are being headed by people rewarded for services to Sharifs.”
On Feb 27, Pakistan had failed to put up a decent show with the bat against India as the whole team slumped to a meagre 83 all out. Despite a fiery opening spell by M Aamir, the total was too small for a solid Indian batting line-up. India had won the game by five wickets.
So far in the tournament, Pakistan has only managed to beat the United Arab Emirates on Feb 29. They play against Sri Lanka on March 4 (tomorrow).