Habib lashes out at seniors

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 May, 2008, 12:00am

Stand and deliver - this was the simple message from coach Aftab Habib to his senior players as Hong Kong suffered another embarrassing defeat on their training tour of Pakistan, losing by a massive 175 runs to Wapda at the venerable Lahore Gymkhana Club.

'The senior players are not taking responsibility on their shoulders. These guys need to stand up and produce, but they're too laid-back. They have got to go out and do it,' said Habib after the third successive defeat on the 10-day training trip.

Winning was never part of the equation for Habib who knew the opposition will be several notches above Hong Kong.

While using this trip as a build-up to the Asia Cup in Pakistan next month and, the ACC Trophy in Kuala Lumpur in July, Habib mostly wants the players to learn from playing on turf wickets and in alien conditions.

But another demoralising defeat - Hong Kong had lost their previous two games by eight wickets and 125 runs respectively - left Habib frustrated at the lack of application being showed by the batsmen.

Batting first, Wapda reached 259 for eight off 50 overs.

They then bowled Hong Kong out for 82.

None of the batsmen made any contribution worth writing home about, according to Habib.

'We bowled and fielded well and, at the innings break, I was upbeat. Unfortunately none of our batsmen stuck their hands up, unlike in the previous two games. Our shot selection was very poor,' Habib said.

In the opening two games, Irfan Ahmed (62) and Tabarak Dar (102 not out) got scores. But no one bothered the scorers this time, much to Habib's dismay.

'We need to play smart cricket. I know it is a steep learning curve for these guys, but we need more guys scoring 100s. It was wonderful to see Tabarak get a hundred the other day. He has led from the front. I want all the senior players to step up. I want to see a couple more batsmen getting 100s,' Habib said.

Hong Kong will come up against a powerful Faisalabad region today.