October 25, 2023 – Former cricket legend Wasim Akram voiced his deep disappointment following Pakistan’s unexpected loss to Afghanistan in the World Cup 2023. In candid remarks, Akram, a stalwart of Pakistan’s cricket history, expressed his frustration with the team’s current status.
Once a dominant force in international cricket, Pakistan, captained by Babar Azam, is encountering significant challenges in the World Cup. Akram pointed out the team’s one-dimensional strategy, lackluster captaincy, and a string of defeats, culminating in the recent loss to Afghanistan.
Despite posting a competitive total of 282, Pakistan’s renowned bowling attack, depleted without key players like Naseem Shah, appeared feeble. Equally disheartening was the team’s fielding performance, marred by errors that became the subject of memes and jokes.
Akram ascribed Pakistan’s fielding issues to subpar fitness levels among the players. He expressed his frustration, saying, “Today was really embarrassing. Scoring 280 and losing only two wickets is a significant achievement.
However, regardless of the damp pitch, one should scrutinize the fielding and fitness levels. We’ve been emphasizing for three weeks that these players haven’t undergone a fitness test in the past two years. If I were to mention names, it wouldn’t reflect well. It appears as if these individuals are consuming 8 kilograms of mutton daily. Shouldn’t there be fitness assessments?”
Akram went on to question the players’ commitment to maintaining their fitness levels. He advocated for a standardized approach, recalling the coaching era under Misbah-ul-Haq, during which strict fitness standards were enforced, despite players’ reluctance.
“As paid professionals representing their country, there should be specific criteria. When Misbah was the coach, he upheld those standards, even if the players didn’t appreciate it.
Fielding is contingent on fitness, and that’s currently our Achilles’ heel. We find ourselves in a situation where we’re simply hoping for miracles,” Akram remarked, outlining his viewpoint on the team’s predicament.
Akram’s candid assessment of Pakistan’s fitness and performance underscores the growing concerns within the cricketing fraternity as the team navigates the challenging World Cup campaign.