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PCB throws weight behind under-fire team with hope to bounce back

LONDON, June 19 (WNP): Pakistan’s cricket chiefs Wednesday threw their weight behind the country’s under-fire team, expressing hope that it would bounce back after back-to-back World Cup defeats.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), itself facing intense criticism over the national team’s below-par showing in cricket’s biggest spectacle, has been under pressure to act swiftly after Pakistan’s embarrassing defeat against India at Old Trafford on Sunday.

But at a meeting of the PCB’s Board of Governors in Lahore, the country’s cricket administrators unanimously decided that they won’t jump the gun.

Instead members of the Board of Governors “expressed faith, support and confidence in the side” during a meeting at the Board headquarters in Lahore.

“The BoG had a discussion on the Pakistan cricket team’s recent performance across all formats,” a PCB media release said.

“The members agreed the team’s performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to date has been below expectation, but expressed faith, support and confidence in the side, and hoped they will utilise all their talent and potential in the remaining matches to bounce back strongly and finish on a high.”

But the PCB was quick to add that it would carry out a thorough post-mortem of Pakistan’s World Cup campaign soon after the conclusion of the ten-nation tournament.

“It was agreed, and as previously stated, following the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, the PCB will carry-out a robust review and analysis of the side’s and the team support personnel’s performances in the past three years and submit their recommendations to the Chairman and the BoG for their consideration,” the Board announced.

That the PCB is not taking any measures to assuage disgruntled fans in the wake of yet another humiliating defeat against India must have come as a relief for Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed and his team-mates.

They have been under fire from all quarters for a poor showing against India against whom they lost by 89 runs in a rain-affected match in Manchester. The Pakistanis crumbled in the high-pressure encounter and were duly attacked by the media and fans.

The team has since moved to London where Pakistan face South Africa in a must-win group match of the World Cup at Lord’s on June 23. Pakistan have to beat the Proteas and then win their remaining three World Cup games against New Zealand (Edgbaston), Afghanistan (Headingley) and Bangladesh (Lord’s) to keep their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals alive.

The Pakistanis have been resting since their arrival in London on Monday evening.

“The management has given the players a two-day off. Since there was a week-long break following our last game it was decided to give the players a break,” a team official told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.

The players will resume training on Thursday with a three-hour session at Lord’s starting at 10.00 am.

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