Pakistan cricket is at it again, with a damaging report blaming top players after a poor team performance at an International Cricket Council event. This time it is the head coach of the women’s team, Sabih Azhar, who has submitted a ruthless report of the team’s show in England, with harshly-worded criticism against veteran captain Sana Mir and long-standing team manager Ayesha Ashar. He presented the detailed report to the Pakistan Cricket Board on Tuesday, according to Geo TV.
Pakistan lost all seven of their matches in the Women’s World Cup, finishing at the bottom of the points table. However, the team put up an improved show as compared to the 2013 World Cup, coming close to a win against the much-higher ranked South Africa and then Sri Lanka, but ultimately falling short.
But the 14-page report, a copy of which was available with ESPNCricinfo as well, detailed the shortcomings of the team and blamed them on the captain’s selfishness and negative approach. The strongly-worded report is particularly surprising given that Mir has been the face of Pakistan for a long time, becoming the only player from the country to play 100 One-Day Internationals and having led in 70% of them. The all-rounder was almost the best performers for the team with 153 runs and six wickets in the tournament.
According to ESPNCricinfo, Mir was accused of being “self-centred, egotistical and being wrapped up in oneself” and “spreading negativity among the younger members of the team.” Ashar, who has been the team manager for nine years now, was slammed for favouring seniors like Javeria Khan and Nain Abidi, and neglecting the junior players.
“Too many of our so-called role models, don’t give a hoot about anything except themselves. To them, the ‘team’ is nowhere near as important as the ‘me’. ‘What’s in it for me? I want more playing time. I should be starting instead of them! My average, My stats, My salary, etc.’ Similarly, Sana Mir’s ‘me-whining’ affected the mindset of aspiring young players to understand how important teamwork really is to success and any team game is not about ‘me’, it’s about ‘we’!” said portions from the report.
There was more nasty criticism of Mir, alleging that she was jealous of the other players and deliberately bowled herself instead of giving others a chance to improve her bowling figures as well as denting the confidence of the team by praising the opponents.
The head coach recommended the sacking Mir and Ashar and appointing a new captain and manager if Pakistan women’s cricket is to improve at all, according to Geo TV.
This report was not received very well by cricket followers on social media who called out PCB for this drastic step.
A Twitter user @_hypocaust detailed how the 2017 World Cup was perhaps the best for Pakistan as compared to their previous standard, despite the end result. The user posted veracious statistics from the tournament to highlight the improvement in Pakistan cricket.
There has been no response from any party as of now. However, if the 30-year-old Mir does step down, it might throw the team in a vacuum given her experience.