Pakistan slumped to ninth in the ICC one-day international table — their lowest since rankings were introduced in 2002 — after losing the ODI series to minnows Bangladesh 3-0, threatening their participation in the 2017 Champions Trophy in England where only top eight teams will feature.
The tourists also suffered their first ever Twenty20 defeat against Bangladesh. Although they managed to win the two-Test series 1-0 with victory in the second Test last week, the national pastime of inquisition and blame game is back in full flow.
Legendary paceman and 1992 World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan termed the Bangladesh one-day series defeat as “unimaginable” while former captain Ramiz Raja described it as “the lowest point in country’s cricket history”.
As a bewildering number of former players and captains line up to have their say, those who currently govern the game are pointing their fingers towards the system over which they preside.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan promised a “serious review” and labelled the first-class system as “completely flawed” and fitness of the players as “worst in the world.”
A procession of players withdrew with injuries from the Bangladesh tour, highlighting the lack of a fitness regime and the mistakes made in allowing players to come back to the rigours of international cricket without proper match practice.
The post-mortem comes as Pakistan prepare to face Zimbabwe in a mini-series of Twenty20s and three one-day internationals — the formats where the team has fared worst of late — with the African side keen to upset the hosts.
No Test-playing team has toured Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009, leaving eight people dead and seven visiting players injured.
Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who retired from one-day cricket after World Cup in March, called for a united effort to arrest the decline.
For decades Imran has blamed a flawed first-class system as being detrimental to the national side, but analysts counter that it produced players in the past of the calibre of Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul-Haq.