ISLAMABAD: Sabih Azhar, Pakistan women’s cricket team coach, has held skipper Sana Mir and senior players responsible for the team’s disastrous show in the recently-held Women’s World Cup.
A source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told APP on Wednesday that in the report submitted by Sabih, he has blamed Sana for adopting negative approach and of being completely self-obsessed during the mega event.
Meanwhile, according to the report by a prominent cricket website, the coach had complained that team manager Ayesha Ashar paid most of her attention to senior players — Sana, Javeria Khan and Nain Abidi — and was “cold” towards the younger players.
“My humble view is if the set of these four — three players and manager — continue with the national team, there is absolutely no chance of players’ growth in the team,” Sabih wrote in his report.
“The juniors need confidence of the seniors, but if they [juniors] are always criticised and face negative remarks, it would shake their confidence very badly and we should forget growth of women’s cricket in Pakistan,” he adds.
“The captain was so much negative in her approach that she inculcated fear among other team members during team meetings on a number of occasions. She used to praise opponent players a lot instead of backing her own players to do well. Eventually, the captain’s negative approach did damage the confidence of our batters and bowlers and they couldn’t play their natural game during matches,” Sabih was quoted as saying in his report.
Sabih further wrote that Pakistan’s pre-tournament preparations — a 30-day training camp in Abbottabad and a 15-day training camp in Leicester — had made him feel confident.
“We could have won our opening league match against South Africa before losing narrowly because the girls couldn’t handle pressure at crucial moments. In the second match against England, our bowlers gave too many runs — 377 — and the match was over before our batters went in,” wrote Sabih.
“Against Sri Lanka and the West Indies, our team once again couldn’t give the finishing touches and lost both the games. Overall, I believe we could have won at least three league matches — against South Africa, India and Sri Lanka — but the team lacked finishing approach at crucial junctures which cost us the games,” the coach wrote in his report.
Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2017