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Former Pakistan greats demand change after Harare defeat

AFP
Sep 15, 2013 at 03:44pm IST

Former Pakistan cricket greats and fans demanded a new national team captain and coach on Sunday after an embarrassing defeat against minnows Zimbabwe in the Harare Test.

Zimbabwe, who only started playing Tests in 2011 after a six-year exile due to lack of players and facilities, pulled off an upset 24-run win against number four ranked Pakistan in the second Test on Saturday, squaring the two-match series at 1-1.

The defeat left Pakistan cricket fraternity in a shock as former players urged cricket authorities to revamp the team. Former captain Ramiz Raja said the Pakistan team needed a fresh captain to replace Misbah-ul-Haq.

Former Pakistan greats demand change after Harare defeat

Former Pakistan cricket greats demanded a new captain and coach after an embarrassing defeat against minnows Zimbabwe in the Harare Test.

"Misbah contributed to a change of environment and gave stability to the team but he seems to have run out of ideas, so we need someone with fresh ideas," Raja said.

The defeat could not have come at a worse time as Pakistan face number one Test team South Africa in the United Arab Emirates next month. Raja said every captain has a shelf life and 39-year-old Misbah has spent it.

"I think Misbah's shelf life is over and with these ideas we will stand nowhere in front of South Africa," said Raja, now a commentator.

The Pakistan team needed an aggressive strategy, he added. "It seems excitement and aggression is at the lowest point in our cricket, we want to avoid defeat and these hot-and-cold, up-and-down performances must change," said Raja.

Former express paceman Shoaib Akhtar said Pakistan need a vibrant coach to replace Dav Whatmore, the former Australian batsman who took over last year.

"Pakistan must address its batting woes because batting is letting us down, it has gone down badly," said Akhtar.

Akhtar blamed Pakistan Cricket Board directors for the slump in team's performance.

"Misbah is leading the worst-ever Pakistan team. We don't have good bowlers, we don't have good batsmen and if Misbah is prominent amongst the batsmen then it shows because, with due respect, Misbah is not world class," said Akhtar, who retired in 2011.

Another former captain Aamir Sohail said Pakistan cricket needs revamp. "We need to uplift our domestic cricket which is not producing top-level players and that's why we are struggling at international level," said Sohail.

People on the street showed anger over the team's embarrassing defeat, hoping a local coach could solve the problems.

"No more Whatmore," said Saqib Ali, a cricket fan in Faisalabad. "He is minting money but not producing any results."

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