The team that was one of the most formidable opposing side to the top brass of world cricket and especially India, has now been reduced to a struggling contender. The present perilous state of the team is evident from their recent loss to India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
Former Cricketer Imran Khan took to Twitter immediately after the match on Sunday 4th June 2017 expressing his deep regret to see the new line up being thrashed by their Indian counterparts. He strongly advocated the need of strong reforms on the basis of merit, failing which the talent gap between India and Pakistan will only increase.
This is not the first defeat of Pakistan at the hands of India. In recent years, they have lost 13 matches out of 15 in World Tournaments (including World Cup, ICC and T20). Pakistan has not been able to recover from their losing streak since. Former crickets believe that the root cause of the problem lies in the selection process.
Another reason for the downfall of this cricket giant is the rising drug abuse issue within the team since 2006. Players like Shoaib Akhtar (2006), Mohammad Asif (2006), Abdul Rehman (2012), Kashif Siddiq (2014) and Raza Hasan (2015) have been found positive for doping and have thus served a suspension from playing. The reasons and circumstances might tell a different or a compassionate story even, behind such actions, but the spirit and talent pool of the team has definitely received a severe set-back.
A simple look at last Sunday’s match only upsurges the growing concern in the current tournament that Pakistan’s ranking is at the eight position (even below Bangladesh) as per one-day international gradings. India is ranked number 3 on the same grading chart. The defeat at the hands of India has definitely added to the pressure of their past underperformances.
To top it off, the Pakistan’s team coach has himself acknowledged the fact that the players had suffered ‘stage fear’ while facing the well-composed team India. That might be true to some extent as the players failed to step it up with the core game itself. They were dropping simple catches and failed to cut the chase run rate by taking advantage of their bowling variations.
The players would definite try to redeem themselves in the upcoming matches but against teams like South Africa, Australia and India their prospects of survival in the tournament look bleak at best.