Was painful watching Pakistan in Asia Cup: PCB chief

Karachi, March 4 (IANS) Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has said the poor performance of the national side in the ongoing Asia Cup was painful for him to see.

Pakistan were beaten convincingly by arch-rivals India in their opening match. They showed glimpses of a comeback by defeating United Arab Emirates (UAE), but then bowed out of the tournament after losing to hosts Bangladesh.

“It wasn’t just a matter of disappointment but it was a painful experience to watch Pakistan play like that,” Shaharyar was quoted as saying by espncricinfo on Friday.

The PCB chief also hinted at changes in the side which will battle it out in the World Twenty20 starting from March 8 in India.

“The performance was very poor other then few individuals’ performances, but I can assure that accountability is inevitable and whoever is responsible has to answer.”

“Changes are important in the electoral process and leadership but we have to sit and think wisely. We are not going to make anyone a scapegoat or do the witch hunt, but whatever we will do, it will be done with clarity,” he said.

Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi drew a lot of flak for his captaincy, including a decision where he controversially dropped fast bowler Wahab Riaz in favour of Anwar Ali in the game against Bangladesh. But Shaharyar said he would not under any circumstance change the captain one week before the World T20.

“I understand there is a lot of criticism but I am not going to change anything one week before the major tournament in India,” Shaharyar said.

“Afridi will remain captain unless he himself pulls out of the job. He has been serving Pakistan from the last 15 years. There are problems in his captaincy which can’t be mended and especially at a time when his career is about to be end.”

“Also, we don’t want to disregard the longest serving players of Pakistan cricket. So, I am not going to push a panic button and take any decision in haste. This is not my style,” Shaharyar Khan said.

He added: “Some changes you will see will be done before we play our first matches in World T20 and other important changes will be done after the tournament.”

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