RAWALPINDI - Rawalpindi Region head coach Sabih Azhar, who is arguably one of the most successful coaches of the country, termed the ongoing National T20 Tournament as one the best-organised events in the history of Pakistan.

Talking to The Nation, Sabih, who has honour of winning prestigious Quaid-e-Azam Trophy title last year as a coach and also credit of winning all the major domestic titles, said: “Some high-quality of cricket was witnessed during the event. Some fresh talent was emerged and all the 12 teams were highly capable of defeating any top sides and nobody could predict who could win. Even smaller regional sides managed to carve out upset victories against top regions, which is indeed a great sign and indicates the future of Pakistan cricket is quite bright.”

He gave credit to the PCB curator for preparing high-standard and high scoring pitches, where batsmen were loving the ball coming on the bat. “No total could be described as safe, as we had witnessed that even after scoring 200 plus runs, the highest of the event so far, we were given real run for the money by Karachi Whites,” he added.

When asked about what was the reason behind Rawalpindi Region failure to qualify for the semifinals, Sabih replied: “The players doesn’t perform according to situation. I was expecting better show from especially the top order, as we had one of the best T20 specialist batsmen in our ranks, but unfortunately, they melt when it mattered most, anyhow, we had learnt a lot from our shortcomings and would be a different outfit in the next tournaments.”

When asked about blunders witnessed during Sohail Tanvir’s captaincy especially in the last group match against Hyderabad, where despite being fully aware Hammad Azam was not an express bowler, he was given which disappointed Pindi fans a lot, Sabih said: “I received a lot of messages and phone calls from Rawalpindi Region fans, who were highly depressed and wanted to know why Sohail Tanvir was handed over captaincy, when he failed to handle the situation in early round matches. I was also surprised, why Sohail put Hammad under pressure by opting him for the final over, and had he gave over to Aamir, Yasir and even bowl himself, Pindi could have easily won the match.”

To a query regarding less number of fans witnessed the early round matches, despite Pindi Stadium and people are well-known for coming in great numbers, Sabih said: “It is true the masses come in very low numbers in the qualifying round of matches, as it was expected as big names like Afridi and others were missing, but crowd certainly gained momentum in the later round of matches, especially when Afridi arrived, while it was completely jam-packed when Rawalpindi Region played their second round match. May be weather was also bit hot and humid, which prevented crowd to throng to the stadium.”

“I really appreciate the way the PCB tournament organising committee under patronage of Shakil Sheikh, chairman Intikhab Alam, security staff, media department and local Rawallpindi administration handled the things in an outstanding way. They deserve all the due credit and hopefully it sets new precedent in the events to come. I really appreciate the presence of selection committee, which puts lot of energy among the players to perform well and get selectors attention. We have witnessed lot of fresh faces, who performed well and give selectors something serious to think about,” Sabih concluded.