Despite T20 World Cup debacle, ‘major surgery’ unlikely in Pakistan Cricket; only ‘cosmetic changes’ | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is unlikely to make major changes to the national cricket team despite their poor performance in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in the Americas.
Sources said that the decision aims to avoid potential confrontation with senior players.
The PCB governing board will meet on Saturday to review reports by head coach Gary Kirsten and senior team manager Wahab Riaz, but substantial changes are not anticipated.
Sources indicated that PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi is cautious about provoking a confrontation with senior players so with a few changes, the same set of players will be in the Pakistan team for coming games as well across formats.
Following Pakistan’s defeat to India in the World Cup, Naqvi had mentioned the need for a ‘major surgery’ in the team. However now only superficial adjustments are set to take place.
“The reports by Kirsten and Riaz will help the Governing Board and chairman Naqvi decide the next course of action but all indications are there Naqvi doesn’t want a confrontation with senior players and he has also been advised against massive changes in the team,” a source told PTI.
“There are so many outside voices and pressures from within the system that all this talk about big changes is unlikely to happen. So, basically, with a few changes, the same set of players will be in the Pakistan team for coming games as well in all formats,” he added.
The question of Babar Azam’s captaincy in white-ball formats looms large. While some former Test captains and a faction within the board favor Shaheen Afridi as a replacement, the names Shan Masood and Muhammad Rizwan have also surfaced as potential candidates.
“You could see cosmetic changes, like changes in the selection committee, and the same old story of reorganising domestic cricket to help do damage control. But the senior players remain strong,” he said.
Kirsten’s report contains feedback similar to his post-match discussions with players during the World Cup, especially following defeats to the USA and India.
Kirsten emphasized the need for players to adapt new skills and improve their game awareness. He warned that failure to do so would result in them being left behind.
Wahab Riaz’s report outlined personality clashes within the team during the World Cup. His assessment aims to provide further context as the governing board and chairman Naqvi deliberate on the next steps.
Pakistan’s upcoming cricket commitments include a two-Test series against Bangladesh followed by three Tests against England.
It is expected that senior players like Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan will not opt for breaks during these important fixtures.
The PCB governing board meeting is expected to result in minor adjustments and a renewed focus on the overall structure of domestic cricket. However, the primary core of the team is expected to stay intact.
The upcoming months appear critical for the PCB, as they navigate through internal and external pressures in hopes of improving team performance without unsettling senior members.

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