Pakistan’s former wicket-keeper batter, Rashid Latif, has criticized the national team’s dismal performance against Afghanistan in a three-match T20I series. Despite a young and inexperienced squad, Pakistan was expected to perform well against their neighbors. However, Rashid Khan-led Afghanistan beat Pakistan in the first two matches to win the series against Pakistan for the first time in history.
Rashid Latif, who represented Pakistan in 37 Tests and 166 ODIs, spoke out against Pakistan’s performance while giving the reference of the International Cricket Council (ICC) code of conduct and Anti Corruption Unit (ACU) code. “Did we go there to lose?” questioned Rashid during a TV show. “It is written in the ICC code of conduct and anti-corruption code that you can’t play a weak team who you already know can lose. Why did you send such a team?” added Rashid.
The cricketer-turned-analyst said many people already predicted that Pakistan would lose the series 3-0. “A lot of people already predicted a 3-0 result against Pakistan. How can you sideline your main players suddenly? If you want to run cricket like this, then go ahead,” bashed Rashid.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) decided to rest its main players, including captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf, during the series against Afghanistan. A young squad led by Shadab Khan took the challenge against Afghanistan, who played with their full strength. However, Pakistan’s inexperienced batting line collapsed in the first two T20Is, which cost them the series.
Afghanistan beat Pakistan 2-0, with a match to go, to register their first-ever series win against their neighbors. Pakistan will next face New Zealand in a five-match T20I series at home next month. Main players including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and others are likely to return to the squad.
Pakistan’s head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq, also expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance. “We were completely outplayed by Afghanistan. We have to go back and rethink our strategy,” he said. Misbah added that Pakistan had missed the experience and skills of their top players, and their absence had a huge impact on the team’s performance.
Pakistan’s performance against Afghanistan has raised concerns about their preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup in October. The team will have to work hard to regain its confidence and momentum ahead of the tournament. The PCB will have to reassess their selection policies and strategies to ensure that the team is better prepared for future series and tournaments.
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