• Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Sports

Imad Wasim calls for major overhaul in Pakistan cricket

World Cup group stage exit is the lowest point for Pakistan, admits all-rounder

Imad Wasim

By: Eastern Eye

PAKISTAN cricket is at its lowest point and needs to make radical changes, all-rounder Imad Wasim said after the team failed to get out of the group stage of the T20 World Cup.

The 2009 champions, who were beaten finalists two years ago, lost to the USA and India. Their only victories came against Canada and in their final game last Sunday (16) against Ireland which was a dead rubber with both teams already eliminated.

Asked about the exit, with the USA beating Pakistan to Super Eight qualification, along with India, Wasim said there was no doubt about the level of disappointment among the players.

“This is the lowest point. You can’t go any lower than this. That’s the fact,” he told a press conference ahead of the match against Ireland.

Asked whether there now needed to be major changes, the 35-year-old left arm spinner said it was clear that radical changes were needed.

“It’s not my domain but I think there should be changes, there should be a drastic change so we can move forward,” he said.

Wasim, who came out of a brief retirement for the tournament, said that the change needed to be far-reaching.

“In everything and every aspect. How to take the game on? How to play the game? This is what I believed in and this is why I came back and tried to do things but it didn’t happen,” he added.

After the shock loss to the USA, Pakistan put up a close fight in defeat against India in New York, and Wasim said that the context needed to be understood.

“You can also say the wickets are a bit tougher than what you think and any team can beat anyone. You can see Nepal was almost through. So, things can happen but I think the approach, how we play the game, I think we will change that and all of the boys are eager to do that because this defeat hurt us really badly,” he said.

The key change needed was in the mental side of the game, added Wasim. “I’m giving my personal opinion. Don’t make these headlines – it’s all your mindset. What mindset do you want to play the game with? You either play fire with fire, or you play your way.

“So, I personally believe you should play fire with fire. And even if you lose, you can sit down and say to yourself, that on that day we were not good enough.

“The problem is our team is so good, our players are so good that we are good enough to play any kind of cricket. So you have to get rid of the fear of failure.

“In everything – batting, bowling, fielding – you have to get rid of fear of failure mindset. Personnel change doesn’t change anything, changing the mindset can change a lot of things.

“We compete with the world’s best teams. Their mindset has changed over time. We used to rule in T20 cricket. I think we have moved back a little now. If you change the mind of the player, you can achieve things beyond your limits. I always believe in this.”

Wasim said he would not make a decision on his future until after the game. “As far as retirement is concerned, there’s a match tomorrow. We’ll play a match and obviously, after that, we’ll think about it and sort out whatever we need to.

“Because to be honest, a lot of things are going to be sorted out in the Pakistan team. The chairman and the board will sort it out.

“We have given away two games by ourselves. Losing to USA, well, losing is a part of the game, but we shouldn’t have lost to USA. Even against India – we had that game in our hands and we shouldn’t have lost. So, there is no excuse for anything. We are losing matches collectively.

“After the match against Ireland – we will sit down and talk and then decide. I don’t do anything secretly. I told everyone when I retired last time. If something happens, I will tell everyone.

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