Colombo, March 18 (IANS) Former Pakistan cricket captain Aamir Sohail has blamed the team management for its failure to get the best out of retiring fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar during the 2011 World Cup.
Shoaib began the tournament with high hopes but was apparently so disappointed with his personal showing that he announced his retirement from international cricket Thursday. But Aamir believes that it wasn’t really his fault.
“If he was selected to play in the World Cup then our team management should have devised a plan to use him but it seems like they did not have anything like that. Pakistan failed to get the best out of him,” Pakistan’s The News daily Friday quoted Aamir as saying in an interview.
“Remember the 2007 World Cup and the way Glenn McGrath was used as a first change bowler by the Australians and how well he performed. Look at the way Brett Lee is being used by the Aussies in this World Cup.
“It seems like we still think shoaib is 27-years-old and are demanding things from him which are no more possible,” he stressed.
Sohail believes that Shoaib, who took 178 Test and 247 ODI wickets, could have achieved much more in his international career.
“When I first met him, the first thing that I noticed was that he was brimming with confidence and passion. It was obvious that he was a fighter. He was just like a wild and untamed horse. Had he been tamed to do the job properly he could have achieved much more.
“Shoaib was one of the best without any doubt because he could turn the game on its head on his own. You could give him the ball and he would make it talk and give his hundred percent all the time.”
Aamir said that Shoaib’s decision to retire from international cricket didn’t really come as a big surprise.
“He could have waited for the World Cup to finish before announcing his retirement. But it wasn’t really surprising because we all knew he would (retire) as his fitness is no longer there,” Aamir maintained.
Pakistan play their last World Cup Group A match against Australia at the R. Premadasa Stadium here Saturday. Both teams have already qualified for the quarterfinals, as have Sri Lanka and New Zealand.