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Pakistan coach slams Sana Mir, manager Ayesha Azhar for Cricket World Cup defeat

Pakistan had finished last in their group at the recent ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup after they lost all their seven matches

cricket Updated: Aug 02, 2017 17:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sana Mir,Pakistan cricket team,Women's Cricket World Cup
Pakistan captain Sana Mir had a very negative approach towards the game, the manager of the Women’s Cricket World Cup team has complained.(Getty Images)

Pakistan women’s cricket coach Sabah Azhar has lambasted captain Sana Mir and manager Ayesha Ashar, holding them responsible for the team’s shoddy outing in the recently-concluded ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in England.

Pakistan had finished at the bottom of the table and failed to qualify for the knock-out stages with seven losses to their name. According to the report given to the Pakistan Cricket Board, excerpts of which have been published in a report on ESPNCricinfo, Azhar stated that Sana Mir had a very negative approach towards the game, while Ayesha only paid heed to what the senior player s in the side had to speak while giving a cold shoulder to the younger players.

“My humble view is if the set of these four - three players and manager - continue with the national team, there’s absolutely no chance of players’ growth in the team. Juniors need confidence of the seniors, but if they are always criticised and face negative remarks, it would shake their confidence very badly and we should forget growth of women’s cricket in Pakistan,” Azhar was quoted as saying in the report.

The coach also went on to add that Sana Mir had become extremely “self-centric” and her role in the team was anything but inspiring for the younger lot.

Sana Mir looks on as rain delays the start of the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2017 match between West Indies and Pakistan at Grace Road on July 11, 2017 in Leicester, England. (IDI via Getty Images)

Sana Mir is ‘self-centred’

“It became clear that the captain Sana Mir is self-centred or self-absorbed; typically she is the last to know it. Her denial to accept self-centredness overshadows her good qualities of confidence and esteem. 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’” Azhar further added.

Sana Mir, who had debuted for Pakistan way back in 2005 is a vital cog in the side and has led the team in 72 games so far. However, despite her experience of playing in big tournaments, Mir could only manage to score 153 runs besides taking six wickets.

“The captain was so much negative in her approach that she inculcated fear among other team members during team meetings on number of occasions. She used to praise opponent players a lot instead of backing her own players to do well,” three report states.

Sana Mir, captain of Pakistan, looks dejected after her team lost to Sri Lanka during the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2017 at Grace Road on July 15, 2017 in Leicester, England. (IDI via Getty Images)

Jealousy factor’

“Eventually, the captain’s negative approach did damage the confidence of our batters and bowlers and they couldn’t play their natural game during matches. Similarly, the captain selfishly used to bowl herself at such a time during the match when she knew that the batters won’t go after the bowling and her bowling figures won’t be destroyed. She had a jealousy factor in her mind that what will happen if the other bowler takes a wicket or two and gets an extended spell of bowling.”

While advocating for the removal of the senior brass in the team, Azhar also asked for a change in the staff members, stating that Ashar’s attitude did not go down well with the players.

“The manager was inclined towards three players and sometimes her behaviour with junior players was very cold. No doubt, maintaining discipline is something which is the foremost job of the manager, but I felt most of the junior players were uncomfortable with the attitude of the manager, who is with the national team for the last nine years,” the report further stated.

First Published: Aug 02, 2017 11:59 IST