Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  

Malik finds 'em all immature

Banned former captain Salim Malik Thursday blamed a lack of maturity in both Pakistan's cricket team and its management for the recent crushing defeats against Australia.

"I am deeply disappointed by the manner we lost both the Tests in Australia and it was mainly due to lack of maturity in boys who are otherwise very talented," Malik told AFP in a rare public comment.

"The batsmen have not taken their full turn at the crease and have been too emotional."

Pakistan were thrashed by 491 runs in the first Test at Perth and despite a better performance lost the second Test in Melbourne by nine wickets on Wednesday, in turn losing the three-match series.

The 41-year-old Malik, who was banned for life on charges of match-fixing in 2000 and has since kept a low profile, said Pakistan lost after making a good start in the two games.

"Pakistan had the upper hand in both the matches as they started off well but due to lack of maturity they failed to press the Australians hard.