National Sports

Pakistan out of T20 World Cup

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan have been knocked out of the World Cup T20 2024, even without playing their last Group A match on Sunday as the US became the second team to make it to Super Eight from the pool.

The all-important match on Friday between the US and Ireland was washed out following an agonising wait-and-hope scenario. The wet field, poor soaking arrangements, and the start of rain at crucial times resulted in a washout and a point of the US which was enough to keep Pakistan out of the competition.

Pakistan’s match on Sunday has now become a mere formality as it would have no bearing on the Super Eight standing which will now see the US as A 2 and India as A 1 teams instead of the seeded Pakistan team.

When rain restarted at around 10.20pm Pakistan time on Friday, the umpire called off the proceedings declaring the US-Ireland match as ‘abandoned’.

All the hopes and expectations of Pakistan fans vanished away once the rain started when some hope of at least five overs a side match emerged.

It was for the first time since the T20 World Cup started in 2007 that the greenshirts made such an early exit from the completion. They made it to the final during the first edition and even the last edition held in Australia besides winning the World Cup T20 under Younis Khan’s captaincy in 2009.

The ICC officials including field umpires and match referee were not confident to see the match between the US and Ireland starting anytime on Friday due to an excessively wet outfield where water was still visible on parts of the outfield. For ICC the decision became easy once the rain started at the deep end of the cut-off time. Both the US and Ireland got one point each, enough for the host country to not only make it to the Super Eight but also qualify directly to the 2026 World Cup T20 to be held in India.

For Pakistan, the T20 World Cup 2024 was a nightmare as the team promising so much ahead of the start of the event lost against the US at the outset courtesy of some poor all-round performance with bowling being the worst case. Against India the bowlers did provide them with a good opportunity to stage a comeback, this time around batsmen spoiled the party, failing to hit even a low 120 runs winning total. The two back-to-back losses were enough to put Pakistan on the brink with yet another jolt they received on Friday, making it impossible for them to qualify.

Thus Pakistan team will head for home after playing their last Group A match against Ireland at the Lauderhill Ground Florida Sunday. Some poor administrative and selection decisions in the run-up to World CupT20 resulted in the team’s inability to progress to the Super Eight competition.

The poor selection comes at the top as the likes of Aamir Jamal, the lion-hearted aggressive all-rounder was not even considered for selection. Irfan Naizi, Usama Mir and Mohammad Ali were other unlucky cricketers who fell victim to poor selection. T20 cricket has always been rated as the game of youngsters tried, tested and unfit cricketers were preferred making mockery of the whole system operational in corridors of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) headquarters.

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