Karachi: Pakistan's semi-final exit from the ICC World Twenty20 has triggered an avalanche of criticism against captain Mohammad Hafeez with several former cricketers demanding the sacking of the allrounder.
Pakistan were sent packing by Sri lanka in the semi-final last night and former Test captains and internationals have slammed the decision of not playing experienced allrounder Abdul Razzaq and the captaincy of Hafeez.
"I don't think Abdul Razzaq has been treated fairly and given the respect he deserves as a senior player with many match winning performances to his credit," former Test legspinner Abdul Qadir said.
"There was no way you could go into the semi-final without Razzaq after the way he performed against Australia. Unfortunately the truth is he has never been treated properly by team managements and we paid the price today," Qadir said.
He said the team management also made blunders in the batting order. Pakistan's former captain and batsman Younis Khan, who is appearing as an expert on a channel, said Mahela Jayawardene led his team very well in a low-scoring match and it was his astute captaincy that won the hosts the match.
"He batted well and he captained well and I thought that was the difference between the two sides." Younis also felt that Imran Nazir had not done his chances of remaining in the team any good by scoring on an average 20 to 25 runs. "When you score 20 to 25 than you will always be in and out of the team," he said.
Former captain Aamir Sohail, however, came to Hafeez's defence by insisting that people should be patient with him as this was his first major tournament as captain. But he felt the team management should have played Asad Shafiq from the first match itself.
"He (Asad) is your most composed and technically sound player and he should have been in the team in this tournament where pitches were such that one had to bat sensibly instead of trying big hits all the time," Sohail said.
Pakistan's former captain Zaheer Abbas said Hafeez had taken some bad decisions, one of them being to leave out Razzaq and not try Kamran Akmal as an opener. "The batsmen didn't play according to the situation and pitch conditions. I thought 140 was gettable in the match but the application was missing and Hafeez got out at a very crucial time he should have finished off the game," Zaheer said.
Zaheer said the Pakistan Cricket Board needs to think ahead what it wants to do for future tours and tournaments.
Another former captain Rashid Latif said as usual the team had performed inconsistently just when it was close to the final. "They could have got to 140 on this pitch but the management needed to take some bold decisions which they didn't take. In contrast Sri Lanka used their batsmen very well and rotated them well."
Former Test batsman Basit Ali had no doubt that Shahid Afridi now needed to retire and focus on playing foreign T20 leagues."I think he should retire now because he was a big disappointment in the tournament. Hafeez also made a blunder by insisting on opening the innings throughout the tournament.
He spoilt the momentum of the team."
Pakistan's former Test player and coach Mohsin Khan said it was disappointing that Pakistan lost a match it should have won after restricting Sri Lanka to 140 runs. "I felt there was lack of understanding between the captain and management and players and if it is true that Hafeez unilaterally insisted on playing Sohail Tanvir today than he should be questioned and so should the management," he said.