ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Test captain Zaheer Abbas questions inclusion of seven batsmen and two wicketkeepers in the playing eleven against Bangladesh in the first One Day International and termed management responsible for the worst-ever lost of green caps against Bangladesh.

During an exclusive interview with The Nation on Saturday Zaheer said this defeat was worst then that Pakistan had to suffer in 1999 World Cup. “Same people are sitting at the helm of affairs in the PCB, who are destroying Pakistan cricket since long. Azhar Ali had committed huge blunders during the match and Pakistan were nowhere in the match. Fielding, bowling and batting was the worst ever. It was hard to believe that Pakistan national team was playing or a club level team was inducted. It was never felt that Pakistan was serious to win that particular contest.”

Zaheer also questioned team selection and asked why much better players were not even considered for selection. “Why PCB relies on present captain’s advice while appointing new captain. A player who was not fit enough or doesn't capable for even playing in the ODIs for the last two years, was all of a sudden appointed as the ODI skipper. PCB is run by the persons who don't know ABC of cricket. They had inflicted huge damages to national team. I can't even have imagined in the worst of my dreams that I had to witness such a decline in the fortunes of national team, when we had to suffer humiliating defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. I fear the day is not far when we might face defeat against Afghanistan and other minnows.”

Zaheer said losing first one dayer doesn't mean all is lost but I strongly fear more worst could happen and there is every possibility of more humiliation and a whitewash is very much on the cards as Bangladesh are on a real high and playing fantastic cricket while Pakistan are in total disarray. “Such is the mantel state of the players, they are on a very low, it is need of the hour to lift their morals and buck them up. Under present conditions even if the PCB hand over responsibilities to me, even I had to dig deep and would take some time before the team could be put on the right track. I feel the PCB is not serious to streamline things as same old issues are haunting team and players.”

Zaheer said there was only one skipper in the history of Pakistan who had put Pakistan cricket on the right track and given direction and that was Abdul Hafeez Kardar. “He introduced departmental cricket, provided jobs and other incentives for the cricketers, which enabled players to perform well without the fear of earning bread and butter for their families. If one kills departments, who are providing jobs to players. How could one expect to get desired results.”

When asked about the solution to problems, Zaheer said the persons sitting in PCB doesn't let chairman to work on ground realities as they had their own agenda and they lack direction, so let them further destroy Pakistan cricket as I don't think there is anybody who could stop them from their self-styled policies.

He said Indian Premier League is the perfect example of how much Indian Board take things seriously. “They had vision and direction that was the main reason they introduced IPL, which resulted in not only huge success but it also provides jobs security to players and they play without any fear of earning bread and butter for their families. The PCB must think on same lines. They have to introduce fresh ideas and must get rid of persons, who despite spending years in the board, had failed to produce even ordinary results/”

He advised the team management to play positive cricket without the fear of defeat or else forget about the remaining two ODIs as the writing is very much on the wall. He said regular bowlers should be included instead of an army of batsmen as it shows lack of self-belief.