Moin blasts Waqar over repeated ‘half-fit Shoaib’ statements in front of media

Thursday, February 24, 2011

KARACHI - Former Pakistan captain Moin Khan has criticised national team coach Waqar Younis for “highlighting” the fitness issues of pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar in front of the media.

“I am surprised at Waqar’s statement on Shoaib that he is still half-fit and working hard to gain match-fitness. What does he mean by that? Even if Shoaib is not fully fit the coach is not supposed to say these things about a player at a media conference,” the Daily Times quoted Moin, as saying.

Moin said he had played a lot of cricket alongside Waqar, “but after he [Waqar] became Pakistan captain in 2002, there was a clear change in his attitude and this led to groupings within the team in the 2003 World Cup.”

“Younus Khan, Shoaib, Shahid Afridi were members of that 2003 World Cup squad and the memories of that event would still be fresh in their minds, that is why I am concerned the way Waqar has talked about the fitness of Shoaib,” he added.

Moin said it was most unfortunate that Pakistan’s captain, coach and manager had constantly talked about Shoaib’s fitness since the team left for the 2011 World Cup campaign.

“I don’t know the reason for highlighting the fitness issues of Shoaib in the media. It would have been better if they had kept it away from the media and discussed it with Shoaib in private, given he is not fully fit,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“I just feel that if the team management had any reservations over the fitness of Shoaib why was he selected in the World Cup squad in the first place. Why take such a big risk for such a big event?” asked Moin.

“Now is the time for Waqar and the captain and manager to support and back Shoaib in the media and not criticise his fitness,” he added. (ANI)

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