Sarfaraz Ahmed has been mercilessly criticised by fans and television experts after the defeat of his team against India. While Sarfaraz has maintained a stoic silence so far, he couldn't hold himself back when asked about the acerbic comments made on television by ex-cricketers against him.
At the press conference before Pakistan's match against South Africa, the skipper was asked for a reaction to the shrill comments coming his way from cricketer-turned-experts. His response was: "If I say something to them, then they will start lambasting me again. They will never understand us. In their eyes, we are not even cricketers. So, I can't say anything to anyone. If I say anything about them, they will say, why has he responded? They are sitting (on TV) like Gods."
Pakistanis are as passionate about cricket as any other country. As a result, any big defeat is followed by a bevy of criticism being directed at the players and the management. A large number of former cricketers appear on talk shows where they are goaded by anchors to give a tongue lashing to the team.
People like Mohsin Khan, Rashid Latif, Shoaib Akhtar, Rameez Raja, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Yousuf, etc. have been generously heaping scorn upon Sarfaraz and his boys. Everything from the selection of the team to the tactics on the ground has been severely panned. The reason why Sarfaraz is getting even more heat than usual was his decision to bowl first to India.
Most commentators, including non-Pakistani ones, disapproved of that decision. The knives were out as soon as India seemed all set to record a big score. Pakistan have a chance for redemption when they play against South Africa, a side even worse off than them. If they record a victory, it will reduce the intensity of criticism. However, even some consolation wins in this event are unlikely to end the spate of criticism as there are serious underlying issues afflicting the performance of the team.