“Never Expected Pakistan To…”: Ramiz Raja’s Rant On Team’s Cricket World Cup Exit

When the Pakistan cricket team entered the Cricket World Cup 2023, the Babar Azam-led side were among the favourites. As they leave the Cricket World Cup, with just four wins in nine games in t he round-robin stage, it’s a sorry state of affairs. Pakistan ended their campaign at the Cricket World Cup 2023 with a 93-run loss to England. Pakistan needed a miracle in the match to go through the semifinals.

After England had set them a 338-run target, Pakistan had to surpass the target in 6.4 overs which was practically impossible. What was more disheartening was that the Pakistan top-order gave up without a fight.

The batting show brought out some raw emotions from former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja, who is also an ex-Pakistan cricket team skipper.

“Even the batting performance of today was a specimen of the 80s kind of cricket. Pakistan cannot exist thinking they can beat good sides, who have advanced in aggression, thinking and strategy, by playing cricket of this nature. I just hope the negative, fault-lines are addressed. This team needs a mental lift . Because most of the nucleus will remain the same till the next World Cup. Shaheen Afridi and Babar ¬†Azam are quite young,” Ramiz Raja said on Star Sports.

“The worst thing that lack of bowling performance. The spin department looked absolutely bare to what other produced. Their ability to play spin was also questionable. A sub-continent team playing spin so insipidly was a big new to me. I never expected Pakistan to be so flat against spinners. Losing to Afghanistan and India hit them. Whenever there was a need to be aggressive, Pakistan failed.”

Talking about the game, England joined the party after everything was done and dusted, finding enough reasons to smile while humiliating a demotivated Pakistan by 93 runs in their final World Cup game here on Saturday.
By virtue of winning their last two games, England finished seventh in the 10-team table and qualified for the Champions Trophy, scheduled in Pakistan in 2025.

Pakistan’s improbable hopes of a semi-final qualification were dashed the moment England batted first and scored 337 for nine in 50 overs.

Pakistan, in response, managed only 244 runs in 43.3 overs as their batters were neither able to pick Adil Rashid‘s (2/55 in 10 overs) googlies nor retiring David Willey‘s (3/56 in 10 overs) incisive swinging deliveries.

There was no chance in hell of Pakistan making the cut because even if their batters had hit 40 consecutive sixes in 6.4 overs, they wouldn’t have surpassed England’s total and topple New Zealand on net run rate.

The academic interest was whether Pakistan batting was able to withstand the pressure of scoreboard and once again Babar Azam’s men batted in an archaic manner, as if the 50-over showpiece was being held in 1992 and not in 2023.

Once again Babar (38 off 45 balls) and Mohammed Rizwan (36 off 51 balls), the two pillars of Pakistani batting, struggled to get going and let the game drift during their 51-run stand in 11.2 overs.

With PTI inputs

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