Malik under fire for humiliating loss against Lanka

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Shoaib Malik has come under fire after Pakistan's defeat against Sri Lanka with the former players asking for his head and youngsters holding demonstration

Updated: January 25, 2009 11:45 IST
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Captain Shoaib Malik has come under fire after Pakistan's humiliating defeat against Sri Lanka with the alarm bells ringing in the cricket establishment, former players asking for his head and youngsters holding demonstrations.

Former skipper Inzamam-ul Haq felt Malik has got to learn a lot about the art of captaincy.

"Malik clearly needed to learn more about captaincy and handling pressure when the chips were down," Inzamam said.

Pakistan were bundled out for their lowest ever one-day score at home, 75 in the third match in Lahore on Saturday to hand Sri Lanka a 2-1 victory in the three-match series.

He also said the absence of a senior batsmen like Mohammad Yousuf and poor form of Younis Khan left the batting line-up weak and fragile.

"I said before this series that with Younis also out of form we don't have batsmen who can play long innings. They are clearly missing Yousuf and his experience," he said.

Inzamam also called for the PCB to sack the chief curator who had prepared the pitches for the series.

"I don't understand what strategy they were working on. The pitch for the final match was just not the sort our batsmen are comfortable and home sides are supposed to take advantage of playing at home," he noted.

Former Test captain Zaheer Abbas said the Board needed to immediately appoint a batting coach for the team.

"Any team can lose a match but not in this manner. Our batting has problems and the team needs a permanent batting coach to help and guide them out all the time," Zaheer said.

He said when the Board was spending so much on cricket it could easily attach coaches for batting, bowling and fielding with the team.

Former captain Rashid Latif said there was no need to panic but felt it was obvious there were problems in the team.

"I think the players, team management, selectors and Board need to sit down and work out things. Because such defeats can be very bad for any team," Latif said.

"We are fortunate we are not playing immediately but we need to sit down and start preparing for the test series next month against Sri Lanka," he added.

Meanwhile, around 50 youngsters held a demonstration outside the main gate of the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore demanding that Malik be sacked and ICL players be reinstated.

The Pakistan team which was bowled out for its lowest score at home on Saturday, suffered their biggest defeat in terms of runs in One-Day Internationals.

It was also Pakistan's fourth lowest total in One-Day Internationals and the second biggest margin of victory between two Test playing nations.

To make matters worse, Pakistan President and PCB Chief Patron Asif Ali Zardari is reportedly not happy with the performance of Board chairman Ejaz Butt so far.

Pakistani players are due to attend a prize distribution ceremony, to be hosted by Zardari, of a domestic Twenty20 tournament in memory of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto at the Presidency on Monday or on Tuesday.

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