Pakistan played like a ‘local team’ in 1999 WC, says Sohail

Former Pakistan batsman Aamer Sohail believes the Wasim Akram led-side played like a local team in the 1999 World Cup where they finished as runners-up.

In the final, Australia first restricted Pakistan for a paltry 132 which they chased down with utmost ease.

“From my cricketing experience and my observation, I can say that we played the entire World Cup like a local team. We had one line-up in a match and a different line-up in the next match with changing batting orders,” Sohail said in a video on his YouTube channel.

Sohail, who captained Pakistan in six Tests in 1998 and in 22 ODIs between 1996 and 1998, further said that the team management made a mistake by including Shahid Afridi as opener as the all-rounder back then could “neither bowl nor bat” in demanding conditions.

“When I was captain in 1998, we had decided with the selectors that we should have regular openers for the World Cup who can stay at the wicket and play out the new ball,” Sohail said.

“Unfortunately, they opted for Shahid Afridi, he had ability on flat low-bouncing tracks where he would take on the bowlers and bring the opposition under pressure.

“But in demanding conditions, that is a big gamble. He was neither able to bowl nor able to bat. If I was the captain instead of Wasim Akram, I would have preferred Mohammad Yousuf,” he added.

Afridi didn’t have a great World Cup as he could score only 93 runs in seven innings he played in the tournament.