The ICC Cricket World Cup is a platform where cricketing nations from around the world compete to secure their place in history. The 2023 edition of the tournament was no exception, with fierce battles on the cricket field, and emotions running high among fans. Pakistan, a nation known for its cricketing passion, embarked on a journey filled with hopes and dreams. However, the reality they encountered was far from their expectations.
Pakistan’s campaign in the 2023 Cricket World Cup began with high hopes and aspirations. Fans across the country were eager to see their team lift the prestigious trophy once again. However, the journey took an unexpected turn as Pakistan faced a series of setbacks right from the start. In the first nine matches of the tournament, Pakistan managed to win just four, which was a significant blow to their aspirations.
As the tournament progressed, Pakistan’s struggles became more evident. The team’s lackluster performances and inability to clinch crucial victories resulted in their elimination from the World Cup in the group stages. This early exit was a devastating blow to both the team and their passionate supporters.
The disappointing campaign led to a severe backlash from fans and former cricketers back in Pakistan. The cricketing community, which holds high expectations for the national team, expressed their discontent with the team’s performances and results. Calls for significant changes in the team management and strategies began to gain momentum.
One of the focal points of criticism during Pakistan’s World Cup journey was the captain, Babar Azam. The young and talented cricketer had been entrusted with the captaincy, and while he had shown great potential, his leadership skills were under scrutiny. Many questioned his ability to lead the team effectively.
Mohammad Amir takes a sly dig at Ramiz Raja For Defending Babar Azam
Pakistan has a rich history of producing exceptional fast bowlers, and two of the most promising talents, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf, were expected to shine in the World Cup. However, both struggled to live up to their reputations. Shaheen Shah Afridi, known for his knack of picking up early wickets, failed to deliver in this tournament and proved to be expensive in terms of runs conceded.
While some called for the sacking of Babar Azam as captain, others, including former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja, advocated for changes in the system rather than focusing solely on the captain’s role. The debate between those who believe that the captaincy matters and those who emphasize systemic improvements raged on.
The discussion on systemic changes took an intense turn when former Pakistani cricketer Mohammad Amir engaged in a fiery rant. He passionately argued that the system had remained consistent during Pakistan’s past successes in cricket. Amir highlighted that the same system had yielded victories in 1992, 1999, 2009, and 2017. He pointed out that the captain’s mindset and approach play a critical role in a team’s performance.
Amir drew parallels with international cricket, citing examples such as MS Dhoni’s role in changing India’s cricket landscape. He highlighted that while the system remained the same, captains like Dhoni brought about significant changes through their leadership and strategies. Amir’s argument shed light on the significance of a captain’s mindset and decisions in the world of cricket.
Amir said: “Captaincy does matter. What is the system? It is not a wall. Five and six people have been given responsibility to run the Pakistan cricket. A captain is also one of them. In 1992 under Imran Khan, we won the World Cup, the system was same. In 1999 our team was a world beater, who reached the finals. We won the 2009 T20 World Cup with the same system, we won the 2017 Champions Trophy under same system.
Babar is captain for past four years. He has build his team on his own. Buttler is not part of our system, then why did England played so badly? Does the system in England also need a makeover? After 2015 debacle, Morgan said I want to play this brand of cricket, I want these 25 players. System remained the same, it is the captain, who changed his mindset. England were struggling in Test cricket for two years. Joe Root was the captain. System is same but we say England’s Test cricket has changed. It was Ben Stokes, who changed his approach.
As long as captain’s mindset will not change, system can do nothing. Was it the system, who told him not to play Abrar Ahmad, or bench Fakhar after first match. We say Dhoni changed India’s cricket, but he never changed the system. People kept saying that for how long will he keep giving Jadeja and Ashwin chances. And now we say Jadeja is World’s best all-rounder. MS Dhoni has given them the team.”