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"17 Players, 60 Rooms": Ex Pakistan Batsman Lashes Out at Pakistan Team for 'Holidaying in USA'

The Pakistan cricket team’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024 has sparked widespread criticism from former cricketers and pundits. Notably, former wicketkeeper-batter Atiq-uz-Zaman has unleashed a scathing critique, expressing his disappointment over the team’s performance and off-field behaviour during the tournament. He said, “You are creating such a drama. During our time, there […]

"17 Players, 60 Rooms": Ex Pakistan Batsman Lashes Out at Pakistan Team for 'Holidaying in USA'

The Pakistan cricket team’s early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024 has sparked widespread criticism from former cricketers and pundits. Notably, former wicketkeeper-batter Atiq-uz-Zaman has unleashed a scathing critique, expressing his disappointment over the team’s performance and off-field behaviour during the tournament.

He said, “You are creating such a drama. During our time, there used to be a coach and with him a manager — the team was run like that,” said Atiq in the video. “Ab aapke 17 log hain officials mein aur 17 players hain, suna hai ke aapne 60 kamre book karvaye hue they (you have 17 officials and 17 players; it’s being said you booked 60 rooms). That’s a joke! Have you gone there to play cricket or to holiday?”

Key Points from Atiq-uz-Zaman’s Critique

1. Perceived Lack of Seriousness:

– Holiday Mentality: Atiq criticized the players for seemingly treating the tournament as a holiday rather than a serious professional commitment. He emphasized that the extensive number of officials and players, along with excessive room bookings, created an impression of a leisure trip.

– Professionalism in the Past: Drawing comparisons with his playing days, Atiq highlighted that the team was previously managed more efficiently with fewer officials, suggesting that the current setup lacks discipline and focus.

2. Criticism of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB):

– Family Accommodations: Atiq strongly opposed the practice of allowing players’ families to accompany them during significant tournaments. He argued that this distracts players from their primary focus on cricket, citing instances of players spending too much time with their families and engaging in leisure activities.

– Discipline and Focus: According to Atiq, the presence of families and the resultant distractions have led to a culture lacking discipline within the team. He believes this undermines the team’s ability to concentrate fully on their cricketing responsibilities during crucial events.

3. Cultural Issues:

– Habits and Discipline: Atiq lamented the habitual inclusion of wives and families on tours, suggesting that it has become a norm that detracts from professional responsibilities. He pointed out that such practices are not conducive to maintaining the focus and discipline required for high-stakes tournaments.

– Public Appearances: The criticism extended to players’ behaviour off the field, including dining at takeaway joints and being captured on video engaging in non-professional activities, further highlighting a lack of seriousness.

Conclusion

Atiq-uz-Zaman’s comments reflect a broader discontent within the cricketing community about the team’s approach and preparation for major tournaments. The early exit from the T20 World Cup 2024 has not only disappointed fans but also prompted former players like Atiq to call for a reevaluation of the team’s culture, discipline, and focus.

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Pakistan TeamT20 World Cup 2024TDGThe Daily GuardianUSA