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'Who's behind these atrocious decisions?'

Former captain Imran Khan slammed Pakistan team for playing defensive cricket and adopting 'atrocious' strategies which has led to the recent slump in ODIs.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2006 19:26 IST

Former captain Imran Khan on Wednesday slammed the Pakistan team management for not only playing defensive cricket but adopting "atrocious" strategies which, he said, has led to the recent slump in one-dayers.

Imran said Pakistan were guilty of not giving a bigger role to their best batsmen in the team and was also highly critical on the appointment of Jonty Rhodes as the fielding coach of the team.

"In one-day cricket, other teams put their best batsmen at No 2, 3, 4 and 5. But Pakistan keeps its best batsman at No 6 and 7. Inzamam-ul-Haq ran out of partners in Abu Dhabi because he was batting lower down the order. I don't know who is behind these atrocious decisions," Imran said.

He also questioned the role of coach Bob Woolmer in the team after the appointment of Rhodes as the fielding coach of the side.

"What will Bob Woolmer do now?" Imran said sarcastically when asked about his opinion on the appointment of Rhodes.

"The Pakistan cricket team has a bowling coach. Now they have a fielding coach and the skipper himself is a batsman. I don't understand what will Bob Woolmer do," he said.

Rhodes, a former South African batsman who is regarded highly for his fielding skills, will spend two weeks with the Pakistan cricket team and work on their fielding skills before their departure for the tour of England.

Imran said fielding could not be improved by the appointment of a bowling coach.

"Fielding cannot be improved by appointing coaches. Australia and South Africa are excellent fielding sides without any fielding coaches," Imran said.

"The PCB has to understand that Australia and South Africa are good fielding sides because their players play (domestic cricket) on good grounds and in near perfect structure.

"Pakistan's fielding will improve only if domestic cricket is played on good grounds and the complicated cricket structure is simplified and departmental cricket is abolished," Imran, a constant critic of domestic cricket structure in the country, said.

The World Cup winning captain slammed the PCB for keeping fast bowler Mohammad Sami out of the national team.

"You have a fast bowling coach but Mohammad Sami, who bowls at 90mphs but is struggling to claim wickets, is being kept out. Is this you call strategy? If you keep him out without helping him sort out his problems, how will you win?

"I am very clear in my mind that Pakistan will need a fit Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Asif to fire in England if they want to maintained their unbeaten run," Imran said, adding "if the PCB wants to take Sami to England, they should have taken him to Sri Lanka."

Pakistan has not lost a series to England in England since 1982 when Imran Khan's side was beaten 2-1 by David Gower's men.

First Published: Apr 26, 2006 13:55 IST