Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan has criticised coach Waqar Younis for questioning the fitness of pacer Shoaib Akhtar in front of the media, saying that such statements will create problems in the team in the ongoing World Cup.
"I am surprised at Waqar's statement on Shoaib that he is still half-fit and working hard to gain match-fitness. What does he mean by that? Even if Shoaib is not fully fit the coach is not supposed to say these things about a player at a media conference," Moin said.
Moin, who was a member of Pakistan's 1992 World Cup winning team and was also in the side which made the final in the 1999 even,t said he had played lot of cricket alongside Waqar.
"We played a lot of cricket together but after he became captain in 2002 there was a clear change in his attitude and this led to groupings within the team in the 2003 World Cup," Moin recalled.
"Younis Khan, Shoaib, Shahid Afridi were members of that 2003 World Cup squad and the memories of that event would still be fresh in their minds that is why I am concerned the way Waqar has talked about the fitness of Shoaib," he added.
Moin said that it was most unfortunate that since the team left for the World Cup, the captain, coach and manager have constantly talked about the fitness of Shoaib. "I don't know the reason for highlighting the fitness issues of Shoaib in the media.
It would have been better if they had kept it away from the media and discussed it with Shoaib in private given he is not fully fit," the former wicketkeeper-batsman said. "I just feel that if the team management had any reservations over the fitness of Shoaib why was he selected in the World Cup squad in the first place.
Why take such a big risk for such a big event? Now is the time for Waqar and the captain and manager to support and back Shoaib in the media and not criticise his fitness."