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PCB inquiry into team's showing
March 04, 2003 20:22 IST
As Pakistan failed to reach the Super Six stage of the World Cup following its worst ever showing in the tournament since 1975, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced an inquiry into the team's dismal performance on Tuesday.
Pakistan reached the semi-finals of all the World Cups since 1979, except the 1996 edition when they were beaten by India in the quarter-finals.
In the first World Cup in 1975, they failed to make it to the last four stage.
"I do not think it should be taken lightly," Pakistan Cricket Board chief Lt Gen Tauqir Zia said on television in Islamabad as Pakistan's slim hopes of reaching the Super Six, which hinged on a big victory against Zimbabwe, were being washed out by rain.
The abandonment of the game against Zimbabwe meant Pakistan finished their league engagements with just 10 points from six matches, ahead only of minnows Holland and Namibia in Group A.
Zia said the inquiry, to be headed by former cricketer Naushad Ali, would go into all aspects, including an assessment of the coach and manager's contributions.
He said the high-profile team, led by Waqar Younis, has no excuse for their shoddy performance and does not have his sympathies for the losses.
"We need to perform at our best. We must admit that we failed totally in all aspects, whether it is bowling, fielding, game plan or attitude," Zia said.
Pakistan suffered a humiliating loss to India apart from being thrashed by both Australia and England in the league matches.
However, Zia did not refer to Monday's incident in which senior players Inzamam-ul Haq and Younis Khan came to blows during training in Bulawayo, though the inquiry is expected to cover player discipline also.
The inquiry will be conducted after team manager Shahryar Khan submits his tour report to the PCB.
Several senior players including captain Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Rashid Latif are expected to announce their retirement after the team's return. Pakistan is also almost certain to have a new coach as the contract of incumbent Richard Pybus is till the World Cup.
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