Pakistan were comprehensively beaten during the opening game of 2019 World Cup
Former Pakistan fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar has criticised the national side, after a shocking display in the opening match of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.
Pakistan were dismissed for just 105 and lost the match by seven wickets at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday.
Sharing his thoughts on his official YouTube channel, the former speedster said that it was a cowardly performance by Pakistan.
“It was a cowardly performance by Pakistan and they did not seem interested and present in the moment which makes me angry,” said Akhtar. “It was very disappointing to see the team play in this manner.”
He also praised pacer Mohammad Amir, who claimed all three Windies wickets, but was disappointed by the bowling of Hasan Ali.
“It was good to see Amir come back into some sort of him and he seemed to be putting in a lot of effort into his bowling,” he said. “Hasan Ali got exposed but that was expected.”
Akhtar was also unhappy with the team selection while also highlighting concerns he has about captain Sarfaraz Ahmed’s fitness.
“Sarfaraz Ahmed does not seem match fit as he was slow in his movements behind the stumps,” he said. “I also don’t understand the team selection and especially why Shoaib Malik was benched for this game.”
The former right-arm pacer also urged the nation to back the team as there were still a lot of matches left to play.
“This was just the first match of the tournament which is why we still need to back this team,” he said. “We have got off to poor starts in previous World Cup campaigns as well so this is not surprising but the team needs our support.”
Meanwhile member of Pakistan’s 1992 triumphant World Cup campaign, and now a renowned commentator, Ramiz Raja was shocked to see Pakistan’s inability to deal with short-pitched bowling.
“Pakistan batsmen expected the Windies bowlers to bowl a fuller length but as soon as they started bowling short, they got puzzled and started throwing away their wickets,” said Raja. “It was very disappointing to see Pakistan put up such a tame display during a mega event such as the World Cup.”
He further stated: “I’m also concerned about Pakistan’s future matches because every other team will now target Pakistan with the short ball.”
Pakistan will play their next match of the event on Monday, June 3 against world number one ranked side and hosts England.