Pakistan fielding coach, Aftab Khan, has admitted that Afghanistan’s fielding skills are better than Pakistan’s in the ongoing ICC 2023 World Cup in India.
During talks with media reporters, Aftab highlighted the lack of emphasis on fielding in Pakistani culture and the limited amount of fielding practice given to the players.
He emphasised that top teams like Australia, New Zealand, India, and even Afghanistan have surpassed the Men in Green in this aspect of the game.
“In our culture, fielding isn’t given as much importance. With just fifteen minutes of fielding practice, we can’t compete with the world’s top teams like Australia, New Zealand, India, and even Afghanistan, who are better than us in fielding. We need to give fielding the same attention as batting and bowling,” Aftab said.
“Previous coaches have also worked with these players, and I have been working with them for three to four months now. It’s hoped that fielding issues will be resolved soon. However, it’s essential to work on this at the grassroots, domestic, and academy levels because other teams are improving rapidly while we’re struggling with the basics,” he added.
Aftab also mentioned that he has been working closely with the players for several months, specifically focusing on techniques such as catching and throwing.
He acknowledged that even the best fielders can drop catches, emphasizing the need for continuous improvement in this area.
“Our domestic culture doesn’t prioritise fielding as much, but what we do at the international level should also be done at the domestic level. I have been working closely with them for three to four months on how fielding should be, what the throw should be like, how to catch, and how to take catches,” he said.
“Catches can be dropped by anyone; even great fielders like Herschelle Gibbs have dropped catches. Usama Mir dropped a catch but later took some excellent catches. Sometimes, it is costly,” he concluded.