Waqar asks for support instead of criticism


Pakistan coach Waqar Younis understands why the media and fans are angry with the team after their early Asia Cup exit, but feels it's time to support the players instead of berating them, given the World Twenty20 on the horizon.

Pakistan beat Sri Lanka on Friday in their final, dead rubber, Asia Cup match, winning by six wickets thanks to a half ton from Umar Akmal. The coach felt that there were plenty of bright spots to focus on.

Waqar said: "This word, tehqiqat (investigation), isn't very pleasant. But the circumstances are such that such words will be used. I think there are far worse words being used in our media.

"But that's the way it is. You have to take it on the chin when you are in this business. I guess this is why everyone is trying their best to have a good World T20.

"We have to pick ourselves up, not only the team but even the management. Even the entire country I feel… We are going to a big tournament.

"You cannot really just put everyone down at all times and then send them to such a big event. I think it is about time that should we all back our boys as well as the management because all the backing will be required."

Waqar conceded that the top three batsmen had a poor tournament of pace-friendly pitches, but opted to look at the positives. Players like Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, and Shoaib Malik had a good time in the middle order, while the fast bowlers were also generally impressive.

He added: "We have not been very happy with the top-order but to be fair to them, it has been a tough outing for them if you consider the pitches or conditions here. It's been very difficult.

"The bowlers have had a good say especially with the new ball. So I think the most positive I would like to take is that our bowlers bowled really well.

"I am really impressed with Mohammad Amir's bowling. Irfan is coming really good. Wahab Riaz played today. We scored 50 in the first six overs but it came late. But we will go to the World T20 with this win.

"Sarfraz's batting has been the highlight. Umar Akmal has played well. Shoaib Malik has played well. The middle and lower-middle order, they've been pretty good.

"It is just that the top three batsmen have struggled in the matches before this match. But yeah, we have to really fix that."