BIRMINGHAM: Angry Pakistani fans protested outside the Birmingham stadium Tuesday after the national team suffered a drubbing at the hands of a second-choice England squad.
Despite skipper Babar Azam’s heroics, the Men in Green were unable to defend a solid total of 331 runs as England took home the series 3-0.
Shouts of “Go Misbah Go” reverberated outside the stadium as angry, dejected fans left for their homes.
“Misbah and Waqar, please leave us alone,” said one Pakistani fan. “Misbah, I implore you to go and coach a county team or a domestic Pakistani team. Just leave the national team alone,” he added.
Another fan, livid at the national team’s thrashing, chimed in.
“Babar Azam is such a fine player. However, the players are on their own. They receive no instruction,” he said. “This is England C. They aren’t good enough for us,” he added.
One fan accused the team management of using left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi too much over the past couple of series, to the point that he can no longer perform.
“He can’t even bowl now. Look at the thrashing he got today, and he couldn’t even take one wicket,” added another fan.
One fan, surrounded by other Pakistani fans, lamented the loss. He said Pakistani fans in England buy expensive tickets to the stadium to see their team perform but the team had let them down in the end.
“I bought an expensive ticket for 60 pounds,” he said. “This is disappointing.”
One Pakistani fan, who had been cheering for the national team throughout the match, admitted the loss was tough to take in but said she would continue to support the national team.
“The world runs on hope,” she said. “Tum jeeto ya haaro, hamay tum se pyar hai (Whether you win or lose, we will continue to love you)” she said.
A couple of fans were at a loss of words for the Pakistan team’s performance. They blamed the bowlers for their below par performance and dropped catches as the reason for Pakistan’s loss.
“Absolutely poor fielding. Three to four simple catches were dropped. I don’t know what to say about that,” said one of them.
“England’s first team is different; they are the world champions but these [current English squad] are like academy players. You can’t lose to an academy team”, added another fan.
Fans, while appreciating the Pakistan captain’s batting performance, criticised his captaincy .
“Babar Azam is a world class player but hasn’t proved to be a good captain. Unbelievable that they can’t defend 330 plus runs,” said another fan.
“The batting was brilliant, they could have won the match but the bowling was rubbish. The bowlers let the team and the fans down.”
England humble Pakistan 3-0 in ODI series
Despite a total of 331-9, Pakistan still suffered a three-wicket defeat after England´s James Vince posted his maiden international hundred Tuesday.
Azam, top of the ODI batting rankings, was back in form after a score of nought and 19 in the first two games but that did not take the edge of this reverse.
“We started well but were sloppy in the field,” he said. “We will learn from our mistakes.”
While Azam is no stranger to international hundreds, it took Vince six years to register his first on the world stage.
The 30-year-old Hampshire captain at last reached three figures in a 50th innings for his country across all three formats with a knock of 102.
Yet, together with the rest of a brand new squad, Vince was only called up by England days before the series opener after all those originally selected had to self-isolate following a coronavirus outbreak within the 50-over world champions’ camp.
“I hadn’t given up on this moment but this time last week I didn’t expect it at all,” said Vince, who made his England debut in May 2015.
England are expected to recall several first-choice players when they name their squad for an upcoming Twenty20 series against Pakistan on Wednesday.