The reports of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) looking to replace both Head Coach Mickey Arthur and Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq after the World Cup will not help calm any wavering nerves in the team on the eve of the World Cup. Even though the PCB later clarified that the news was untrue and the board would decide the fate of both after the tournament, with Pakistan’s first match in the tournament scheduled against West Indies for tomorrow, a team that enters the Cup as serious underdogs cannot be riddled with self-doubt. This is not to say that Pakistan cannot win the tournament; even the best of experts never count out Pakistan as a realistic contender no matter our previous form, which it is fair to say, has been nothing short of abysmal in recent times.

With three lost series recently – all three of them whitewashes – against New Zealand, Australia and most recently England, and losses against Bangladesh and India in the Asia Cup, the Pakistan team might already be suffering from a crisis of confidence. Losses to five out of ten teams playing in the World Cup does not paint a good picture for Pakistan’s chances. However, with strong top order batting power and dangerous bowlers such as Muhammad Amir – a force to be reckoned with on his best days – Shaheen Afridi and Muhammad Hasnain (both still only 19 years old), Pakistan is not lacking quality by any stretch of the imagination.

The World Cup and the outcome of the national team’s performance notwithstanding, this is a young team – one of the youngest in the tournament based on average age – that needs time to be built and develop in one of the strongest in years to come, provided that the board does not attempt to chop and change the staff with every misstep made. Mickey Arthur has led the revival of cricket that the Pakistan team is currently going through and he must be trusted to carry on the work.

As far as the World Cup goes, most people – both inside and outside the country – have written off the team, but this is nothing new for Pakistani cricket. The fans know that anything can happen and that includes both crashing out in the early stages or going on to win the trophy. Either outcome is equally possible, but for the sake of our nerves, we can only hope that the latter is what we get to experience at the end of this tournament. Best of luck to our men in green.