The dismal performance of the Pakistan cricket team in the ongoing World Cup 2023 has sparked widespread criticism, with former cricketers now pointing fingers at the team management and the Pakistan Cricket Board for the team’s disappointing campaign. Adding his voice to the chorus, former captain Misbah ul Haq has slammed the pre-World Cup scheduling, identifying it as a significant factor behind the team’s struggles.
Speaking on A Sports’ show ‘Pavilion,’ Misbah emphasized the lack of proper planning as a major contributor to Pakistan’s challenging campaign. He expressed concern over the demanding travel schedule and bilateral series leading up to the World Cup, pointing out the toll it took on the players.
“The first thing that came to my mind after looking at the schedule was, ‘Good Luck to the Pakistan team.’ It would be a big thing if the players would enter the World Cup without injuries. The players had to travel from Pakistan to Sri Lanka – to and fro. They also played a bilateral series before the Asia Cup. You are the hosts and your team is suffering the most,” Misbah Ul Haq stated.
Advocating for greater involvement of team management in the scheduling process, Misbah highlighted the importance of their presence during the finalization of schedules and MoU signings. Blindly agreeing to unfavorable schedules, according to him, was a recipe for the challenges that unfolded during the World Cup.
The former captain attributed the team’s fatigue to continuous travel, lamenting the transformation of Pakistan’s once formidable bowling attack into a toothless one within a month. Misbah criticized the poor scheduling’s impact on the players’ physical condition, leading to lackluster performances and a sense of cluelessness on the field.
Contrary to Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s pre-tournament assertion that the bowling unit is the team’s strength, the frontline bowlers struggled. The absence of Naseem Shah further compounded Pakistan’s bowling woes, with opposition teams exploiting the remaining resources in almost every game.
As Pakistan prepares for its last league-stage game, Misbah ul Haq’s critique sheds light on the intricate challenges faced by the team, questioning the toll of an exhaustive schedule on player fitness and performance in a crucial tournament scenario.