Pakistan coach takes responsibility

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan cricket coach Intikhab Alam has taken full responsibility for his team's embarrassing loss to Sri Lanka in the three-match limited-overs series.

Updated: January 26, 2009 15:29 IST
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Pakistan cricket coach Intikhab Alam has taken full responsibility for his team's embarrassing loss to Sri Lanka in the just-completed three-match limited-overs series.

"We are not shying from this defeat," Alam told The Associated Press on Monday. "The team management takes full responsibility of this embarrassing defeat."

Pakistan lost by a limited-overs worst ever 234 runs Saturday when it was dismissed for just 75 in reply Sri Lanka's 309 in the series-deciding third match at Lahore.

"This (result) could be blessing in disguise for us because you can only move forward from here," Alam said. "You can't see a much poorer performance from the team than what we did in Lahore two days ago."

Pakistan won the first match by eight wickets on Tuesday, before Sri Lanka evened the series with a 129-run win at Karachi on Wednesday.

"I'm not making any excuses for the defeats in the last two matches, but I can promise to the nation that better results will come in very near future," Alam said.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt reacted immediately after Pakistan lost the series 2-1 and asked team management to submit a detailed report on the side's poor performance.

"We are going to submit the report by tomorrow (Tuesday) and hopefully things will improve when Sri Lanka arrives for two test matches next month," Alam said.

Alam took over as coach from Australian Geoff Lawson in October last year and started off well when Pakistan swept the West Indies 3-0 in a limited-overs series at Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, in November.

Pakistan lawmakers have also taken note of the team's poor performance against Sri Lanka, with the Senate's Standing Committee on Sports summoning Alam, team captain Shoaib Malik and chief selector Abdul Qadir to appear before it on February 9 to explain the series loss.

"The performance (of the team) is just going down and we are really worried," Senator Enver Baig told The AP. "We can't see any team management and we fear that there's no unity among the players."

With the series loss to Sri Lanka, Pakistan slipped one place to No. 5 in the International Cricket Council's limited-overs rankings. Australia leads the rankings, followed by South Africa, India and New Zealand.

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