Pakistan have launched an investigation into their team’s dismal recent performance in Australia following reports of disputes among the players.
Pakistan were swamped 3-0 and 5-0 in the Test and one-day series, with captain Mohd Yousuf not playing the final limited-overs match and stand-in skipper Shahid Afridi getting a two-match ban for ball-tampering. A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) committee will be headed by chief operating officer Wasim Bari and includes former Test player Haroon Rasheed and legal adviser Tafazzul Rizvi. “Board chairman Ejaz Butt has told us to carry out a proper inquiry into what went wrong in Australia,” Rizvi said. “We will be talking to each player and team official independently besides other stake holders during course of the inquiry.” The PCB has received severe criticism after the team’s poor performances with calls for sweeping changes.
Malik to lead in T20 against Australia
Beneficiary of the ball-biting episode that earned Shahid Afridi a two-match ban, former captain Shoaib Malik will lead Pakistan in Friday’s one-off T20 International against Australia in Melbourne. “Malik will lead the Pakistan team in the only Twenty20 match against Australia in absence of Afridi,” the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement. Regular Twenty20 captain Afridi has been banned for two Twenty20 Internationals after he was caught on camera biting at the ball during the fifth and final one dayer against the Aussies in Perth.
Qasim turns down request to continue
Former Test spinner Iqbal Qasim, who resigned as Pakistan’s chief selector on Sunday, turned down a request by the head of the Pakistan Cricket Board to continue in his post.
PCB chief Ijaz Butt had requested Qasim to stay on until April’s Twenty20 World Cup. “I am thankful to the PCB chief, but it is not possible for me to continue as chief selector,” Qasim said.
“The performance of the team has gone down and I should take responsibility. I have made up my mind and now the decision is final.”
The Pakistan parliament’s standing committee on sports welcomed Qasim’s decision to resign.
“Qasim has started a good tradition by stepping down,” committee chairman Jamshed Dasti said. “I hope the rest of the PCB leadership, including Butt and coach Intikhab Alam, also quit.”