Pakistani players wept after losing in semi-final

Pakistani One Day International (ODI) cricket team captain Shahid Afridi (left) chats with Test team skipper Misbah-ul-Haq during a training session at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore on April 12, 2011 ahead of the team's West Indies tour. Pakistan fly out to the Caribbean early April 14 to play one Twenty20 international, five one-day matches and two Tests (AFP)

Pakistan cricket players wept in the dressing room after losing to India in World Cup semi-final last month, manager Intikhab Alam said on Tuesday.

"It was a great disappointment to lose in the semi-final, and I can tell you that players wept in the dressing room. But since then they have moved on which was very necessary," said Alam, also a former captain and coach.

Alam said the team had moved on since their 29-run defeat in the World Cup semi-final against arch-rivals India.

He said he hoped that new players would put in strong performances during the West Indies tour.

"We have selected some new players in the team as we felt that the West Indies tour will help us groom some youngsters, and I hope these players grab this opportunity," said Alam.

Alam said he was nevertheless happy with the team's preparations for the West Indies.

"I can say this with great satisfaction - that this team maintained exemplary discipline during the World Cup, and I am also happy with the fitness level of the team because, unlike the other teams, we didn't have any serious injury problems during the mega-event," said Alam.

Miandad rejects coaching job

Pakistan confirmed on Tuesday that former captain Javed Miandad had turned down an offer to become the side's batting coach.

The team has been let down by slipshod fielding and under-achieving batsmen and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt and one-day captain Shahid Afridi had asked Miandad to come on board, Alam said.

"The Pakistan team surely needs a batting coach and the board approached Miandad but he unfortunately declined the offer because of personal reasons. But I am sure that he will come and help the players in the near future," Alam told reporters during the team's training camp for the West Indies tour.

But Miandad indicated he had rejected the offer because he was unwilling to work alongside other coaches.

"When you have four, five separate coaches, then the blame game starts in case the team loses a series or a tournament," Miandad told reporters.

"For the last three years I have been saying 'give me the team with full responsibility', but it was not done," he added.

Pakistan fly out to the Caribbean early Thursday to play one Twenty20 international, five one-day matches and two Tests.

Miandad's Test batting average never dropped below 50 throughout his 20-year career. His 8,832 Test runs at 52.57 remain a record, with espncricinfo.com describing him as "the greatest batsman Pakistan has ever produced".

The right-hander, now a PCB director, had initially hinted that he was willing to help out the squad, but also said he was unwilling to tour. He has had three separate stints as coach since 1998, the last of which was in 2004.

Comments

Comments