Karachi [Pakistan]): Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has insisted that he is pained by seeing the present situation of the current national side, whose performance has stooped down to such a level where they might have to play qualifiers to gain a spot in 2019 World Cup.
Pakistan is currently sitting at the eighth position in the ICC ODI Rankings with 89 points – two behind Bangladesh and two ahead of the West Indies.
Hosts England and the seven highest-ranked sides on the ICC ODI team rankings as on September 30, 2017, will qualify directly for the event, to be held from May 30 to July 15, 2019.
Razzaq said that the current situation of the Azhar Ali-led side is very miserable as they can miss out on direct qualification to the game’s pinnacle tournament.
“As a player who played for Pakistan it is very painful to see the present situation,” the Express Tribune quoted Razzaq as saying.
“For Pakistan to reach such a stage of being not sure of qualifying for the World Cup is bad, and if they do not get a direct qualification, the whole team will feel the pain.”
“I only hope that in the coming days they win matches and not go through the process of having to play in the qualifying round,” he added.
The 37-year-old is of the opinion that the reason behind the Pakistani players not shining on the international front is the lack of ‘talent’ of the current cricketers.
“They [players] are lacking in talent. There isn’t a player of excellent calibre like [there was] in the past,” he said.
“To add to this, the players are mentally weak. It’s no longer the real Pakistan team. If they all did play as a team, surely Pakistan’s ranking would have been high,” he added.
Razzaq also feels that the national side’s inability to find a proper all-rounder is also hurting them in the present times.
“In the past, we had gifted all-rounders [playing for Pakistan]. Unfortunately, this is lacking today,” he said.
“Since we have a dearth of all-rounders, they [ Pakistan Cricket Board] should have given the task of grooming all-rounders to players like Azhar Mahmood, Wasim Akram and myself. We would have tried to produce some good all-rounders,” he insisted.
The former all-rounder also came in support of under-fire ODI skipper Azhar Ali, who has been at the receiving end for the team’s recent 1-4 defeat in Australia.
“No one should blame captaincy for the recent defeats. Captaincy would work only if you have a good talented team with good all-rounders and players with skills,” he said.
He, however, backed T20 skipper Sarfraz Ahmed to captain the side in all the three formats, saying, “Now it is a good chance for Sarfraz. I feel if the captaincy is given to him, he might do a good job.” (ANI)