Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has hit out at Misbah-ul-Haq for saying that the nation's T20 team was poor even before he took over as head coach. He added that the former Pakistan captain should take greater responsibility and attempt to set things right.
Shoaib Akhtar made these observations during an interaction on Geo Cricket.
On being asked about Misbah-ul-Haq's recent statement that the Pakistan T20 team was poor even before he took over, Shoaib Akhtar responded that the Pakistan head coach should be working on setting things right rather than making lame excuses.
"Honest and strong people don't complain but take decisions. If I had been in his place, I would have said that it is my fault, I will set it right."
He added that Misbah-ul-Haq needs to leave the past behind and work on improving things, now that he is the head coach.
"That is the straight point. He should have said that what had happened earlier or not happened is left behind, and now that I am at the job, I will improve things."
Shoaib Akhtar mentioned that unlike Misbah-ul-Haq, he is not one to play around with words, and wants the latter to show a greater degree of confidence.
"Playing around here and there, is probably Misbah but this is not me. I am not like that. Whatever has happened, now that you are there, you need to say with confidence that you are there now, you will see how to set things right."
The Rawalpindi Express added that everyone would support Misbah-ul-Haq if he shows a positive outlook.
"It is very simple and he will not get blamed. We will defend him instead. Misbah needs to give us a chance to support him. He needs to give us the opportunity to say that he is a brave man who has said something good and that we need to support him."
Shoaib Akhtar's message to Misbah-ul-Haq
Shoaib Akhtar signed off by asking Misbah-ul-Haq not to make negative statements and talk boldly instead, adding that he would be the first one to support the latter in such a scenario.
"I am also giving him a message. Saying that the team was already going down, what sort of talk is that. He needs to come strong. If he makes a strong statement, I will be the first person to support him."
Pakistan drew the recent T20 series 1-1 against England. Although they won a T20 series against Bangladesh earlier this year, the team received a lot of criticism for their losses against Sri Lanka and Australia prior to that, with the reversal against the Asian team coming at home and against a weakened side.