ISLAMABAD - Former Test cricketer Iqbal Qasim has blamed the team management and chief selector for Test series loss against New Zealand.

Talking to The Nation, former chief selector Qasim said: “I feel the entire team management, including chief selector, are responsible for the debacle and they must shoulder the blame of highly shocking and unexpected defeats at the hands of New Zealand.”

He said: “If we closely look at the way Pakistani batsmen gifted their wickets, it is very much clear that New Zealand play for the country’s pride and fight for each and every run and wicket. On the other hand, there was zero commitment shown by Pakistan team. Everybody had witnessed that Pakistan could have easily taken more than 200 runs first innings lead, had they batted with responsibility. But they were all in a hurry, chasing a huge total require patience and planning, but there was no planning at all.

“Pakistani batsmen were in a hurry to go back to pavilion. It was not extraordinary New Zealand bowling, but irresponsible Pakistan batting, which led to the humiliating defeats for green caps. Pakistani bowlers didn’t respond the way they should have while Kiwis batsmen piled mountain of runs, which could have easily been avoided, had proper bowling changes being made. I feel PCB and team management are more focused on winning T20I and small leagues rather than paying attention towards ODI and Test cricket,” he added.

The former chief selector said: “PCB and green caps are more than happy to be called T20 and league cricket champions and they are not bothered about One-Day International and Test cricket. The way Kiwis beat Pakistan team in all departments is really embarrassing for me and all the past greats. We used to beat every top cricket playing nation and that too at their own backyard, but now green caps can’t even win at the UAE grounds, which are their second home for more than a decade.

“If we look at Black Caps, all of them performed and played like a unit. They all wanted to contribute and fight for each and every delivery. On the other hand, none of the Pakistani player could seem playing for the country, rather they were busy in playing as individuals. Yes, it is true that Yasir Shah made new world record of being fastest to 200 wickets, but look how well New Zealand batsmen played him. Yasir did take wickets, but Kiwis scored runs too,” he added.

Qasim said how a captain could expect others to perform when his own form is very bad. “Sarfraz was not able to utilise his options well, while others were also equally responsible for not showing enough fighting and desire to win the matches. After coming so close in the first Test, the green caps simply gifted it to New Zealand. After bouncing back in the second Test too, they once again let Kiwis of the hook and gifted that match as well.

“If we compare both the captains, Williamson put his heart out and led the team from front which helped him win the Test series. Despite conceding 74-run first innings lead, Williamson made quick changes and batted with of lot of responsibility, which was completely missing from his counterpart Sarfraz.”

Qasim said now Pakistan team couldn’t even win at the UAE tracks, where it had dominated during Misbah’s era. “Off course, Misbah and Younus were great legends and Pakistan team could never get those players back, but one must move on. Look at other top cricket-playing nations, they too had similar kind of issues, when their greats retired, but they moved on and managed to produce quality players.

The former cricketer lamented that when top performers of domestic cricket are not considered for selection in the national team while ordinary players and near and dear ones are preferred, then such results are bound to come. I fear Pakistan team have to suffer more, when they will take on mighty South Africans at their own pitches.

“The way Pakistani team is unable to handle the pressure, flopped on UAE tracks, what will happen to them in the fast and bouncy tracks of South Africa, which are known to trouble batsmen. How these batsmen will cope with the pace and venom of Proteas? Unless the PCB bring in drastic changes and provide justice to the deserving players, who want to play for country not for records, Pakistan team is bound to suffer,” Qasim concluded.