Misbah, Hafeez question Pakistan team management’s approach during PCB meeting

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A comprehensive evaluation of Pakistan’s performance in the recently-concluded 2023 Asia Cup took place at a special meeting held at the National Cricket Academy on Wednesday in Lahore. The meeting was presided over by Zaka Ashraf, the chairman of the PCB management committee. In attendance were key figures, including Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, head coach Grant Bradburn, and members of the technical cricket committee, namely Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez. Team director Mickey Arthur and vice-captain Shadab Khan joined the discussion via video conferencing.

During the meeting, Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez conscientiously highlighted the shortcomings exhibited by the Pakistani team during the Asia Cup and posed several pertinent questions to the management. The agenda also encompassed deliberations on forthcoming strategies, team composition, and player utilization.

A significant focus was directed towards scrutinizing the performances of out-of-form opener Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan. Babar Azam expressed his support for both players and anticipated improved performances from them in the upcoming World Cup.

According to sources, there is a possibility of retaining Shadab Khan as the Vice-Captain, but the final decision will be made after further consultations. Zaka Ashraf has also sought the captain’s input on this matter.

Interestingly, some of the coaches failed to provide satisfactory responses during the meeting. Sources have disclosed that the cricket committee identified several mistakes, which the coaches acknowledged but appeared reluctant to make changes to their strategies. Concerns were raised as it appeared that despite recognizing past mistakes, there were indications of persisting with the same approaches in the future.

The meeting also addressed contingency plans, particularly in the event a player loses form or sustains an injury.

Team manager Rehan ul Haq was unable to attend due to personal reasons. The unexpected absence of Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq raised eyebrows, considering his pivotal role in selecting the squad for the Asia Cup and his upcoming responsibility for forming the squad for the World Cup.

The team management has requested the board’s permission to continue their work in preparation for the World Cup.

Babar Azam is slated to present his answers on Thursday, following which the World Cup squad is set to be finalized. The announcement of the World Cup squad is expected to take place on either Thursday or Friday.

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