Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has urged the International Cricket Council (ICC) to give head-to-head record a higher priority than net run rate after the team’s final game of the 2019 World Cup against Bangladesh.
“I would have liked the ICC to consider head to head because tonight we would be in the semi-final. It is disappointing, and it just goes back to our first game (a heavy defeat) against the West Indies,” Mickey Arthur was quoted as saying by IANS.
“We had an opportunity to beat Australia and we didn’t take that. Those are the two nightmares I’m going to have,” he added.
Pakistan went into the match against Bangladesh on Friday needing to win by a record margin in order to pip New Zealand to final semi-final spot on the basis of net run rate.
Batting first, they ended their innings on 315/9 and needed to bowl out Bangladesh for seven in order to get to the top four. They eventually won the match by a comprehensive margin of 94 runs but that wasn’t enough for them to seal a spot in the semi-final.
“What the system has done to us is that after one very poor game, you really battle to recover again. So it’s a very disappointed dressing room, no congratulations going on because we haven’t qualified. Congratulations to the four who have, I think they’ve played the best cricket so far and may the best team win,” said Arthur.
“But it is nice for us to sit here and know we’ve beaten two of those teams [England and New Zealand] which shows we’re not a mile off in terms of ourselves as a cricket team.”
Arthur also admitted that the team had discussed posting a total in excess of 400 if they batted first. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t discussed. But I think that was something that we could only assess once we did something right. The first 10 overs were expected to be quite crucial. You couldn’t have just walked in there and gone ‘I think we’re going to get 400’. Getting 400 was a platform. You needed to get a good base, and you needed to move,” Mickey Arthur added.
“The message we got from Fakhar [Zaman] when he came back in the change room was it was slow. Balls going into the wicket were quite tough. We realised that getting the average score, I think, is 270 over the tournament. I mean, getting 400 was a bit of a pipe dream. And then we realised we just wanted to win and we wanted to win well.”