LAHORE - Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi has admitted the national team’s pathetic performance and humiliating defeats in the World Cup and advised the fans not have high expectations from the team in the mega event.

Sethi has lamented that the culture of criticism and scorn being directed at the national team after a bad performance is not visible in any other cricket playing nation.

Talking to the reporters here Sunday, Sethi said: "I can understand the people's disappointment at the team's poor performance in the World Cup matches but at the same time, it doesn’t justify the sort of criticism against the players.”

Sethi, who is the designated president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and heads the PCB executive committee, pointed out that in no other country were the players criticised in a way as in Pakistan. "It does not help the morale of the players or make them positive. At this time, the World Cup is still not over and we need to support the team as it is still not out of the race," he said.

Sethi said that while he could understand the frustration of the fans in Pakistan but one needed to be a bit patient with the team. "We have some good players and we can bounce back. But the media and people need to support the team. Other teams also fare badly but they are not treated as we treat our players," he added.

The former PCB chief said given the problems, Pakistan cricket had faced in recent years, fans should not have high expectations from the team. "Don't forget this same team has won us many matches and made us proud. We need to give them some space and support. We have players who have performed in the past."

Outlining reasons for the team's loss, he said that Pakistan played less international matches than the other countries participating in the game's biggest competition.

Sethi also insisted that the impression being created in the media and by some former players that he was calling the shots in the PCB were not correct. "The board has a system of working now and it is wrong to say I am still taking decisions behind the scenes," he stated.