'Now you better not lash out at media' - Salman Butt criticizes PCB for its inability to solve middle-order crisis ahead of T20 WC
Salman Butt has pointed out PCB's inability to solve the team's middle-order crisis heading into the T20 World Cup this month.
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Ever since the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2022 down under, they have been subjected to constant criticisms by former cricketers for not giving due weightage to the middle-order that has been troubling them in so many matches in the last couple of months including the Asia Cup final.
Former skipper Salman Butt is also not convinced with the squad selection and has questioned the national cricket board's inability to manage the middle-order crisis. At the same time, Butt also expressed his disappointment at the PCB for not going back to veteran Shoaib Malik.
We don't have a middle order: Salman Butt
“Here, the people are stubborn in making decisions. They didn't care about the impact it would have on the quality of cricket. We don't have a middle-order, now they are accepting it. But what can we do now?” wondered Butt while speaking on his official YouTube channel.
“You were saying that quality system will come. Now you better not lash out at the media, now do not ask them to back you. Yeh naa kahein ki aap log negativity phailaate hain. Ham log negativity phailaate hain, aapne toh player hi khatm kar diye hain. Iss tarah ke kaam kiye hain ki players hi squeeze ho gaye hain," he added.
"Even if you want to take a drastic step, which way will you head towards? You have Shoaib Malik who is a part of the previous system. What have you produced? You are just stubborn and only talk about fancy things," the ex-Pakistan skipper said.
The Pakistan middle-order batters were inconsistent throughout the Asia Cup barring their Super Four encounter against India and also during the seven T20Is against England at home which they lost 3-4. Only skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shan Masood (two matches) did the bulk of the scoring in that series.
Pakistan yet again suffered a batting collapse in the just-concluded T20I tri-series match against New Zealand where they were restricted to 130.
Apart from criticisms from ex-players, the PCB has also been accused of favoritism and playing internal politics in the T20 World Cup squad selection with Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed getting chances despite repeated failures while the proven performers as well as seasoned campaigners Shoaib Malik and Sarfaraz Ahmed getting ignored.