Islamabad: Pakistan has fallen well behind the rest of the world in the T2O format, a Pakistani daily said and rued the men's cricket team's loss to India in Kolkata. It, however, heaped praise on the women's cricket team for their win.
An editorial "A win and a loss" in The News International said "for only the second time in our long cricketing rivalry with India were we able to beat our enemy at a World Cup."
Pakistan cricket team. Pic/ AFP
"There are two World T2O Championships going on right now and both should be getting equal attention," said the daily.
It observed that the boys in green got the pageantry of an opening ceremony with Shafqat Amanat Ali and Amitabh Bachchan singing their respective country's national anthems.
"The girls in green got the win."
"It wasn't easy for Sana Mir and her team. Even though we restricted India to a total below a hundred, we were struggling to victory and the match was finely poised, with both teams standing an equal chance of winning, when the rain came."
It added that "we were a paltry two runs ahead at the time under the Duckworth-Lewis method and that was enough to give us the precious win and keep us in the tournament".
The daily hoped that "our unfunded and ignored players get the attention they deserve. The problem of women's sport being relegated to an afterthought is universal and, unfair though it may be, they have to be twice as successful to get a fraction of the support".
Regarding the men's team, the editorial said: "The less said about the performance of Shahid Afridi and his team the better."
"The captain did what he usually does, unable to contribute with bat and ball and making baffling decisions on the field."
It went on to say that the speech given by Imran Khan at the opening ceremony did not seem to have the intended effect, though a leaked video of Umar Akmal complaining to Kaptaan about not being sent higher up the order hints at possible divisions in the team.
"We now have to beat Australia and New Zealand to reach the semi-finals. For some, it may even be preferable if we do not pull off that miracle since it will only paper over the cracks and postpone the much-needed reckoning," the daily said, adding: "Pakistan has fallen well behind the rest of the world in the T2O format and what was most depressing about the loss was how utterly predictable it was."
"As the girls showed earlier, quality bowling is a national trait but both teams need to sort out their batting in what is rapidly becoming a sport dominated by the bat. For now, we have a win to savour but much work left to do."
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