New Delhi, Oct 26: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday has urged the cricket fraternity and fans to support the Babar Azam-led side in the ongoing 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup following criticism over three back-to-back defeats in the tournament, including an eight-wicket loss to Afghanistan.
Pakistan, the 1992 champions, are currently placed at fifth position after playing five games, winning only twice and losing thrice, with their current net run rate being in negative. South Africa, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh await the team in their tough quest to reach the semifinals.
“The PCB acknowledges the emotions and sentiments of cricket fans following the three consecutive defeats faced by the national team in the ICC World Cup 2023. In this challenging environment, the board administration hopes that the cricketing fraternity and fans will continue to support captain Babar Azam and the entire Pakistan cricket team.”
“The national team still has four crucial matches remaining in the round-robin stage, and the PCB is optimistic that the team will regroup, overcome the setbacks and perform positively and effectively in the upcoming fixtures,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
After suffering three consecutive defeats in the competition, the Pakistan team had come under heavy criticism due to its ineffective performances and strategies. The criticism began to grow more especially after PCB chief Zaka Ashraf was reported to have met many former cricketers to outline a plan for the national team post the World Cup.
“Addressing the media scrutiny directed at captain Babar Azam and the team management, the board's stance, echoing that of former cricketers, is that successes and defeats are part of the game. Captain Babar Azam and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq were given freedom and support in forming the squad for the ICC World Cup 2023.”
“Looking ahead, the board will make decisions in the best interest of Pakistan cricket based on the team's performances in the World Cup. At present, the PCB encourages fans, former players and stakeholders to rally behind the team as they strive to make a triumphant comeback in the mega-event,” it added.
Pakistan’s next match in 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will be against a high-flying South Africa at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday. (IANS)