Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur has admitted that the 89-run loss to India in the ongoing World Cup drove him to an extreme point of frustration and despondency.
“Last Sunday, I wanted to commit suicide,” Arthur told reporters, after their game 49-run victory over South Africa on Sunday. “But it’s only one performance.”
“It happens so quick. You lose a game, you lose another game, it’s a World Cup, media scrutiny, public expectation … and then you almost go into survival mode. We’ve all been there.”
Pakistan suffered their seventh straight loss to India in all World Cups, their third defeat of this edition in a rain-affected game on June 16. An all-round effort helped them clinch a morale-boosting 49-run win against South Africa, at Lord’s, to keep their chances alive in the tournament.
“We always say, you’re only performance: you’re either a hero or a villain and it only takes one performance to get back to where you need to be. I’m confident that they can because there’s a hell of a lot of talent in that dressing room.”
With the confidence back, Arthur sounded optimistic about Pakistan’s semi-final chances; they currently occupy the seventh spot in the points table, with two wins and five points. Their next game is against table-toppers New Zealand, one of only two teams to stay unbeaten in the tournament so far.
“We are very firmly in the World Cup. We win our next three games, we’ll qualify. So we know that. I know we can beat New Zealand. It’s amazing what a difference a week makes. Our boys hurt this week, all of us hurt, incredibly. Guys didn’t sleep much, but they came to the training every day and put [the work] in.”
Currently ranked sixth in the ICC ODI rankings, Pakistan will play Afghanistan and Bangladesh after their clash against the Kiwis on June 25. Apart from the South Africa win, Pakistan’s only other victory came early in the tournament, against hosts England.
“We are alive and kicking, without a doubt, and we play our best game, we beat anybody, added Arthur. “[If] we put our three disciplines together, we are as good as any team in this competition.”