KARACHI: Moin Khan, the chief selector and manager Pakistan cricket team, wants ‘some bold decisions and steps’ to make national team a formidable unit ahead of next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. “I was disappointed with the performance of the team against Sri Lanka. But as the team was playing after long layoff that could be reason for their failure,” he told reporters at National Stadium after a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar M Khan here on Thursday. Moin said performance of some players was not up to the mark and some bold steps were needed in the interest of team. He admitted that there were some worries because some players were not coming up to the expectations.
Moin said that the captain Misbahul Haq’s poor performances reflected that of the entire team. “After a long time, Pakistan team did not play to their potential,” Moin maintained. “When the captain is not in form it reflects on the performance of the whole team and this time our captain was not in good form. Naturally it has an effect and reflects on the minds. Everyone will try their best to understand and as soon as possible, improve in the next series. Those who have given good performances will be retained and we will take a good look at those who have not. Time is short for the World Cup, and we have to take bold steps for the betterment of Pakistan cricket.”
Though Moin had hinted at a captaincy change before the team left for Sri Lanka, he stood by Misbah, citing the ‘stability’ Pakistan had enjoyed under his leadership. “Misbah has been doing well and you cannot change him after one bad series. Personally I believe in stability and continuity. But the PCB chairman is final authority to take decisions.”
Commenting on the dark clouds hovering over the career of ace off-spinner Saeed Ajmal for a suspect action, he said they would be looking for possible replacement in case of any problem. A turbulent tour for Pakistan was made even worse when their Ajmal was reported by the umpires for a suspect action after the first Test at Galle. Moin was optimistic about Ajmal’s return, but said that Pakistan were also looking at other options should the ICC ban the offspinner. “Naturally, we have to think about it and that’s what we are doing. In case Ajmal is banned, we definitely have to make alternate plans. So we have summoned two or three bowlers who have been among the wickets to the NCA and we will take a look at them.” Pakistan’s selection committee will meet next week to finalise the squad for the team’s upcoming assignments, which include a home series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE, as well as a two-ODI series in New Zealand just days before the start of the World Cup.
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