Former Pakistan cricket legend, Wasim Akram, did not hold back in criticizing the Pakistan team’s fielding, commitment, and fitness levels. He expressed his embarrassment over the fielding display.
In a historic upset, Pakistan experienced their first-ever loss while defending a total exceeding 275 in ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup history. Afghanistan, in a commanding fashion, chased down 283 runs to secure the victory in Chennai on Monday, October 23.
Despite the commendable efforts of Iftikhar Ahmed and Shadab Khan, who steered Pakistan to a total of 282 from a challenging position, the bowling unit faltered, undoing the batters’ hard work. The bowling performance was lackluster, and the fielding support was equally disappointing, resulting in the team conceding an extra 15-20 runs due to fielding errors.
Former Pakistan cricket legend, Wasim Akram, did not hold back in criticizing the team’s fielding, commitment, and fitness levels. He expressed his embarrassment over the fielding display and emphasized the need for a fitness selection criterion, which he believed was absent.
Speaking on A Sports’ Pavilion, Wasim Akram stated, “It was embarrassing today! Look at the fitness level of Pakistan players. We’ve pointed out that these players have not had fitness tests in two years! Their faces are bulging! Lagta hai roz ath ath kilo nihariyan khandene (Looks like they have eight kilos of slow-cooked meat daily). These are professional players; there has to be criteria! When Misbah-ul-Haq was coach, there were fitness criteria in place. Players hated him. But it worked! Fielding is all about fitness. That’s where we are lacking.”
On the same panel, former Pakistan captain Moin Khan echoed Akram’s sentiments, observing that the players appeared lethargic and fatigued. He attributed this to an exhausting three-month cricket tour in Sri Lanka, which left the players drained and impacted their fielding performance.
With three losses in five World Cup games, Pakistan faces the risk of an early exit from the tournament. Afghanistan, despite their win over England, shares a similar record of three losses in five matches, making their dream of a semi-final berth contingent on winning all their remaining games.