Report: Captaincy, discipline problems led to Pak defeats

LAHORE: A team manager's report on Pakistan's disastrous tour of Australia blamed defensive captaincy by Mohammad Yousuf and discipline problems for the debacle.

Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in Tests and 5-0 in one-day matches before going down in the only Twenty20 match on their tour of Australia which ended on February 5.

The defeats forced chief selector Iqbal Qasim to resign from his post, while the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) formed a six-man evaluation committee to ascertain the reasons for the defeats.

Coach Intikhab Alam and wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal were also axed from the 14-man squad for two Twenty20 matches against England in Dubai on February 19 and 20.

The committee, minus Wasim Akram, who excused himself from attending for personal reasons, discussed tour manager Abdul Raqeeb's report on Friday, a copy of which was acquired by AFP.

"Yousuf, a world class player, failed as captain because of his defensive approach," said the report, which also mentioned two separate incidents when Yousuf disputed his axing from the team.

On the first occasion, Yousuf was dropped from the team for the third one-day international against New Zealand -- a series played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) preceding the twin tours of New Zealand and Australia.

"Yousuf finding his name missing from the playing eleven started arguing with coach Alam that on what grounds 'I have been dropped.' Alam replied that he has been dropped because of poor fielding."

Younus Khan led Pakistan in the UAE series before withdrawing from the New Zealand tour and Test series against Australia due to lack of form. Yousuf replaced Younus for the tour of New Zealand and Australia.

The other incident occured before the fifth and final one-day against Australia when Yousuf initially withdrew but wanted to play later.

The report also mentioned a heated argument between pacemen Umar Gul and Mohammad Aamir during the second Test in Wellington.

"Since Gul is very experienced cricketer, Aamir should not have confronted him in the field. However in my opinion both the players acted in an irresponsible manner. As such I have taken the action and fined one hundred thousand rupees (1,200 dollars) each," Raqeeb said in the report.

In an another incident of ill-discipline, young batsman Umar Akmal was blamed for giving a media interview without the manager's permission before the Hobart Test when he was undergoing examination for apparent back strain.

"The committee is requested to assess the entire situation and impose a heavy fine on Akmal so that he can become a lesson to others."

The report said the appointment of former pacemen Waqar Younus had caused confusion among the players.

"He (Waqar) is an ex-world class cricketer but in my opinion his induction was unnecessary. Players got confused as to whom to follow. They got divided between the coach and the consultant."

Pakistan's poor fielding and batting was also highlighted.

"We dropped at least 30 simple catches during the six Test matches played on the two tours. Our players are not mentally tough, they succumb to the pressure easily and batsmen, including Yousuf, got out to reckless shots.

The manager also suggested deduction of points on poor performance and a strong captain to lead the team.