CHENNAI: Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said that his team's failure at the ongoing World Cup was to blame on the “perfect game” instead of blaming few. Arthur also pledged Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to stop the witch-hunt against skipper Babar Azam after the team's heart-wrenching loss against South Africa by 1 wicket on Friday.
A commendable 10th-wicket partnership between Keshav Maharaj and Tabrez Shamsi saw Pakistan's fourth consecutive defeat for the first time in World Cup history.
Earlier after the loss against Afghanistan, PCB issued a press release stating "the board would make decisions in the best interests of Pakistan cricket based on the team's performances in the World Cup."
Arthur after the South Africa loss said, They're going to be blaming everybody, don't worry. It's just the way of the world.
"It's really unfair to start a witch-hunt, certainly on Babar Azam, on Inzi (chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq), on our coaches, on the management team. What I do know is the boys have tried and the effort of the coaching staff, and the effort of the players has been first-class. If they would see the amount of effort that the players and staff put in, they would be amazed."
After posting an average total of 271, Pakistan clinched the first half of the second inning claiming five wickets for 54 in the space of 12.3 overs to leave South Africa floundering at 260 for 9, before some umpire flaws and Maharaj sealed the narrow victory.
"I thought we bowled really well, but I still thought we were under-par in terms of the runs that we had. We haven't put the perfect game together yet. It hasn't been for lack of effort, hasn't been for lack of trying, but we just haven't got enough players in form at the minute, particularly with the bat.
"The Afghanistan game, we were average in all departments. Tonight, we were okay with the bat, I thought we were very good with the ball. And tonight, I'm really proud of those (players) because they fought right to the bitter end."
With 2 win in 6 game, Pakistan’s journey in the World Cup seems to end, however, Arthur remains optimistic about the team's performance and looks ahead to the tournament.
"You never know. What I do know is that we need to go and assess combinations again, we need to have a look at the holes we have within our team. We need to start improving in a lot of areas and we've got to go home and finish this tournament with three victories. That's what I do know. Every day we'll be trying and we'll be striving to do that.” IANS