Sports

Criticism Towards Pakistan Players Justified: Rizwan

PESHAWAR: Top-order batter Mohammad Rizwan acknowledged that criticism of Pakistan players is warranted following the team’s disappointing exit from the recent T20 World Cup.

The tournament concluded with India claiming the title after a narrow seven-run victory over South Africa in the final on Saturday. Pakistan, however, was unable to advance beyond the first round.

Under the leadership of Babar Azam, who resumed his role as captain after Shaheen Shah Afridi’s brief tenure, Pakistan suffered a shocking defeat to co-hosts United States in their opening match. This was followed by a batting collapse that led to a loss against India in their second game.

Although Pakistan secured wins against Canada and Ireland, it was not enough to propel them into the Super Eights stage.

“The criticism we’re facing is justified because our performance didn’t meet expectations,” Rizwan told reporters on Tuesday. “Players who can’t handle criticism won’t be able to succeed,” he added.

The T20 World Cup showcased impressive performances from teams like the USA and other less-experienced sides playing modern cricket. In contrast, Pakistan struggled with an aggressive style and faced scrutiny over their on-field decision-making.

“There are many reasons for our defeats,” Rizwan pointed out. “When a team loses, it’s not just one aspect—bowling or batting—that is lacking.”

Following the team’s failure, reports emerged of internal divisions among Pakistan players. Speculation arose that the reinstatement of Babar as captain had strained relations between him and Shaheen.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Mohsin Naqvi has called for significant changes to address the country’s cricket issues. Rizwan agreed with Naqvi’s approach.

“Operations are normal when someone is unwell; they become necessary,” said the wicketkeeper-batter. “The PCB chairman is diligent. Decisions about who stays on the team are his prerogative.”

Pakistan’s next international engagement is a two-match Test series against Bangladesh at home next month.

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