By Muhammad Atif Noor
ISLAMABAD: It is a harsh reality and a human phenomenon that upon getting authority, the behavior of a person changes and that too mostly in negative way.
The similar thing is being reported now a days regarding Head Coach of Pakistan Cricket Team Waqar Younus who, according to some cricket pundits and former players, is allegedly involved in keeping tussle with some players and making them sit across the ropes.
They are of the view that Waqar’s arrogance and favoritism has cost Pakistan a number of matches, series and tournaments. The recent defeat of Pakistan at the hands of England by 3-1, where Ahmad Shahzad was kept out of the team for unknown reasons in first three One Day Internationals and new opening pairs were tried which resulted in total batting failure is the fresh example of the fact.
“Ahmad Shahzad is not in the good books of Waqar Younus which is the reason why he is not selected in the playing eleven in first three ODIs and when the decision of the management was criticized on media, the opener was included in the team,” said former captain Javed Miandad.
He said the responsibility of this defeat lies heavily on Waqar Younus as he was selecting the team on the basis of his likes and dislikes.
In the first ODI, Pakistan lost three wickets in first 10 overs at a score of 41 only, with first wicket fell only on 12 runs on the board. In the second ODI where Azhar Ali and Babar Azam opened the innings, Pakistan lost its first five wickets only on 50 runs with the first wicket down on just five runs while in the third ODI first wicket was fell on 45 runs.
Miandad said according to media reports it was learnt that Ahmad Shazad had some disciplinary issues with the coach and team management. If this was the case then why was the opener named in ODI and T20 squads, he questioned.
He said it was the time to bring a new coach for the team as Waqar’s favoritism was damaging the players besides affecting the team’s performance.
Setting aside the case of Shoaib Akhtar during World Cup 2011where the speedster was ruled out of key matches including semi-final against India, Waqar Younus, in his recent tenure, faced severe criticism from cricket circles when he opted to keep Sarfraz Ahmad out of the team in some of the World Cup matches last year due to reasons best known to him.
Then this news also surfaced in media that relations between Waqar Younus and Younus Khan were also not ripe. This was even more clarified when in a function at Karachi when Younus Khan was asked a question about Waqar’s coaching, and he replied. “if i will say something about the coach, some people will get annoyed and if i will not say anything then some others will get annoyed so better keep a mum over it.”
Younus had earlier said that if he did not perform well and made century against Sri lanka he would have been out of the team.
Former Test Cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz said Pakistan team was in need of a new coach. He said both the captain and coach Waqar were responsible for the current defeat of Pakistan at the hands of England.
Meanwhile, Chief Selector Haroon Rasheed has discarded all the speculations regarding Ahmed Shahzad having disciplinary issues saying that the opener was dropped from the ODIs as he didn’t make a place in the Playing XI.
“It is only the media which is creating hype about the issue,” he mentioned.
Whatever the truth is, chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) must take notice of these allegations and media reports, and if there is any reality in these reports then action should be taken as the T20 World Cup is nearing and any new controversy can affect the team’s performance in the mega event.