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Gary Kirsten arrives in Lahore to discuss changes in team with PCB chief

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi (left) and Pakistan white ball head coach Gary Kirsten (right). —NNI/reporter/File

LAHORE: Pakistan white ball head coach Gary Kirsten Monday arrived in Lahore to discuss about changes in the Pakistan team including captaincy with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi. 

Following the disappointing T20 World Cup campaign, the PCB chief had summoned him for consultation about Pakistan team’s future.

Whereas, Naqvi’s discussion with the head coach over maintaining Babar Azam’s captaincy is extremely important.

Raising numerous questions, Kirsten has already submitted a report pertaining to Pakistan’s dismal performance in the World Cup. Sources told Geo News on July 3 that he had submitted a “confidential” assessment report to the PCB.

The sources said the PCB chief would review the document highlighting players’ fitness, discipline and game awareness among other things that led to the team’s early exit from the mega event.

The development comes as the Green Shirts failed to even make it to the Super Eight stage of the World Cup after suffering an upset loss against the minnows United States followed by a defeat against arch-rivals India.

The Babar Azam-led side only managed to win matches against Canada and Ireland which were insufficient to propel the team to the next stage of the tournament.

The below-par performance by the national side resulted in scathing criticism from fans and former cricketers alike prompting the PCB head to announce a “major surgery” in the squad.

However, the board decided to wait for Kirsten and senior manager Wahab Riaz’s report to make any decision with regard to the team’s future.

After going through the report, the PCB chief will also consult other board officials and former cricketers before taking a decision on the way forward.

Earlier, Geo News while citing sources had reported that Kirsten had expressed concerns over the players’ fitness levels, stating they are not up to the mark.

In a discussion with the team after their elimination from the World Cup, the coach pointed out that the team’s skill level is significantly lagging compared to the rest of the world.

“Despite playing so much cricket, no one knows which shot to play and when,” he said, adding that only players who value unity, focus on fitness, and improve their skill set will be part of the team moving forward.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan cricket czar has also started holding meetings with former captains of the national side as well as international players to discuss about possible changes in the team.

On the other hand, Assistant Coach Azhar Mahmood has also been summoned from England.

Kirsten and Mahmood both have reached Lahore, whereas Pakistan’s Test coach Jason Gillespie, who’s currently in Karachi, will also meet Naqvi soon.

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