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Kirsten flays Pakistan players for lack of unity after T20 WC debacle, Bhajji tells him to return as India coach (Ld)

17 Jun, 2024 22:10 IST|Sakshi Post

Lahore, June 17 (IANS) Head coach Gary Kirsten has lambasted the Pakistan men's national team players following their unceremonious exit from the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in the group stage, pulling up the players for lack of unity and some basic skills. While Kirsten pulled up the players after their final league match in the T20 World Cup, former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh told his former coach to return to India and take over from Rahul Dravid.

"There's no unity in Pakistan's team. They call it a team, but it isn't a team. They aren't supporting each other; everyone is separated, left and right. I've worked with many teams, but I've never seen such a situation," Kirsten reportedly told the players after Pakistan's final league match in the T20 World Cup against Ireland.

According to reports in Pakistan media, Kirsten picked on each player in the squad and cited a lack of unity in the team as the main reason for their failure to reach the Super Eight stage.

Pakistan were stunned by debutants the United States in one of the biggest upsets in the T20 World Cup and then went down to arch-rivals India despite bowling them out for a paltry score.

According to a report in Geo Super News, Kirsten was also appalled to see how the players were way behind in terms of skills and fitness. He also questioned the shot selection of batters and told the players, 'No one knows which shot to play when' and dished out a warning for the future.

"Players who improve in these areas will be included in the team; otherwise, they will be dropped," the Geo Super News report claimed Kirsten told the players.

The 56-year-old Kirsten, a former India coach, had taken over the Pakistan white-ball team just before the T20 World Cup while former Australia pacer Jason Gillespie will coach the red-ball team. Kirsten joined the Pakistan team during the series with England after completing his stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

But in the few days he was with the team, Kirsten was appalled by the disunity among the players. Pakistan media had earlier reported that there were three camps in the squad, one led by captain Babar Azam, the other supporting Mohammad Rizwan, who was unhappy about not being considered for captaincy, and the third led by Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is reportedly irked by lack of support from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Babar Azam.

With Kirsten giving credence to these reports with his damning indictment of the players, the Pakistan media is abuzz with the coach's sensational assessment. Though the reports noted that Kirsten has made known his views inside the dressing room and not in a public forum, they have also noted that the coach did not spend enough time with the team before the mega event and is not returning to Pakistan with the boys. Kirsten has reportedly left for South Africa, his home country, while many players including Babar Azam will be holidaying abroad before making it back to Pakistan.

While the Pakistan media has reacted with shock at Kirsten's statements, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has the South African not to waste time with Pakistan cricket and rather return to India to take over from Rahul Dravid.

Harbhajan waded into the controversy with his comment on social media, urging Kirsten to leave the Pakistan team.

"Don’t waste ur (your) time there Gary... Come back to Coach Team INDIA... Gary Kirsten, One of the rare diamonds... A Great Coach, Mentor, Honest and very dear friend to all in our 2011 Team.. our winning coach of the 2011 World Cup (sic). Special man Gary, @Gary_Kirsten," Harbhajan said in a social media post.

It is not only Kirsten but even former captain Wasim Akram who has blamed the Pakistan players for the team's debacle. Akram has said that Pakistan does not need any enemies, the team is its own enemy.

Kirsten's comments seem to endorse those views.

It is now to be seen how the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reacts to Kirsten's comments against the players.

The PCB is expected to take some tough decisions and carry out an overhaul of the squad and following his latest assessment, there are fears that Kirsten could be the first to face the axe.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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