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Black Day: Pakistan cricket community slams team’s loss

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Karachi, June 7: The Pakistan cricket fraternity reacted with disbelief after the team’s shock defeat at the hands of tournament debutants USA in the T20 World Cup, calling it a “black day”.
Playing in their maiden World Cup, newcomers USA prevailed in the Super Over to stun former champions Pakistan after both the teams ended at the same score in normal play at Dallas’ Grand Prairie Stadium.
Former captain Younis Khan said Pakistan had made some tactical blunders when it mattered the most.
“I would have liked to see Fakhar Zaman take the strike in the super over against the left-arm seamer. But one can only learn from such a bad day and I hope Babar Azam and the other players now take every game as a do or die game,” Younis said.
According to Younis, what was most disappointing was the fact that there is a huge Pakistani community in the USA, which supports the team wholeheartedly.
Pace legend Wasim Akram termed the team’s performance as pathetic.
“It didn’t seem like Pakistan was playing against a team that has limited exposure against top teams.”
He was also critical of the lack of effort in the field by some of the players.
Former opener Mohsin Khan said he was concerned about the future of Pakistan cricket.
“This is not just a defeat, it is a sorry statement on the mental strength of our players. I don’t know what is going on but somewhere I got a feeling our players underestimated USA,” he said.
Khan, who was head coach and chief selector from 2010 to 2012, said the upcoming match against India have become a do-or-die contest for the beleaguered side.
“We have to win that game at all costs otherwise we are out of the super eight.” Pakistan and USA had scored 159 each in the regulation time before the latter successfully defended 18 runs in the Super Over to register a famous victory in Dallas on Thursday.
“It is a black day in Pakistan cricket history. I mean where is the pride and that fighting spirit that was synonymous with our players,” said cricket analyst Omair Alavi.
Before the reverse against USA, Pakistan have also lost to teams such as Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland in recent times.
Former captain Javed Miandad gave credit to the USA team for pulling off a huge upset despite playing for the first time at the game’s highest level.
“I mean look at our experience and exposure compared to them but I give full credit to the USA for holding their nerves and playing with discipline. Look at the catches they took, it turned the match in their favour,” he said.
The batting great said that it was absolutely necessary now for the players to bounce back in the remaining matches of the tournament.
“I look at the psyche of our cricket fans and I think they can redeem themselves by trying to beat India on Sunday,” he said.
The result has also led to speculations on social media that all is not well in the Pakistan dressing room.
Pakistan’s former captain and coach, Mohammad Hafeez, was also critical of the team’s forgettable performance, saying that the decision to go back to Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as openers meant the team management had not moved forward.
Natasha, an avid cricket lover and a Babar fan, said if Pakistan can’t beat the USA how can one expect them to win against a strong side like India.
“I don’t see us playing in the super eight now to be honest. It’s over for us in this World Cup. The helplessness of our players was visible on their faces yesterday.” (PTI)

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