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Pakistan-cricketLahore High Court (LHC) has accepted for hearing a petition filed against the poor performance of the Pakistan cricket team during the ongoing cricket World Cup.

The petitioner has nominated Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shahryar Ahmed Khan and PCB’s board member Najam Sethi as respondents in the case.

The petition filed by Advocate Rizwan Gul has questioned the team’s dismal performance in the World Cup 2015 and has asked the court to investigate the possible causes behind the collapse. LHC judge, Justice Ijazul Hassan will hear the case on February 24.

Earlier, PCB chairman Executive Committee Najam Sethi acknowledged the Pakistan team’s humiliating defeats in the World Cup and said fans should not have high expectations from its performance in the tournament.

“I can understand the fans’ disappointment at the team’s performance in the World Cup matches but at same time it does not justify the sort of criticism against the players,” the former PCB chairman told reporters at the sidelines of the Lahore Literature Festival on Sunday.

Pakistan have made a dismal start to their Pool ‘B’ campaign at the World Cup. After a hurtful 76-run defeat to arch-rivals India in their opening match last Sunday, Misbah-ul-Haq’s men were thrashed by 150 runs by West Indies on Saturday, sparking fans’ ire at the team.

Read: Mr Sethi and co, we want more than just press conferences

Outlining reasons for the team’s loss, he said that the Pakistan team played less international matches than the other countries participating in the game’s biggest competition.

Sethi, however, was quick to add that the countrymen must not forget that most of the team’s regular bowlers were injured and the batsmen were not experienced either.

He went on to say: “This is only the second match that Pakistan has lost … in these circumstances, team needs support and not criticism.” Sethi said given the problems Pakistan cricket had faced in recent years, fans should not have high expectations from the team.

None of the leading Pakistan Cricket Board officials were available in the PCB headquarters at the Gaddafi Stadium the day after Pakistan team’s shock defeat to arch-rivals India at Adelaide in a crucial World Cup match.

Neither chairman Shaharyar Khan nor PCB Governing Board member and chairman of three committees Najam Sethi or Shakil Sheikh (head of Cricket Committee) — who had played key roles in taking major cricket related decisions prior to the start of the World Cup — were available in the PCB offices which was extremely surprising and reflective of their mindset about the team’s performance in Australia.

Moin Khan under pressure after casino visit
Reacting under pressure after receiving the clarification notice by PCB over his visit to casino, the chief selector Moin Khan has sent his wife back to Pakistan, who was accompanying him on the PCB sponsored trip.

The PCB had sought clarification from Moin Khan, on tour with the Pakistan world cup squad, over his visit to a casino before the crucial match against the West Indies, PCB chairman Shahryar Khan had said.

Moin served as Pakistan’s manager and chief selector before the World Cup but relinquished one post on the condition that he would be permitted to travel with the team. The move surprised many and his presence has reportedly become a bone of contention for the players and the team management.

“We are looking at the facts and will make a judgement only after everything is clear. As the reports suggest he went to the casino before the West Indies match. I think it was rather inappropriate before a crucial game. But as I said, we will pass a judgement only after studying the facts,” Shahryar Khan said.

Pakistan’s World Cup campaign was first rocked by allegations of unrest when reports claimed that fielding coach Grant Luden was involved in a heated row with senior players.

Two days prior to the big game against India, eight Pakistan players, including former captain Shahid Afridi and opener Ahmed Shehzad, were fined US $230 each after violating a curfew put in place by team manager Naveed Akram Cheema.

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