Quick summary: This was the 12th Cricket World Cup, The first being played in 1975. Pakistan have played in all 12 - As they have been eliminated from the group stages this time. It was the fourth time in their history this occurred, The 2003 and 2007 World cup squads were incredibly poor and most people within the country as well as fans worldwide had a fair idea that expectations should be kept to a bare minimum. One featuring a team full of has beens and the other was just not good enough at all so from a perspective, This has been the worst showing in a World Cup by Pakistan since the inaugural edition. Preparation: You couldn't ask for anything better other than to play 6 limited over games against the hosts of the World Cup in their own conditions and arrive a month and a half earlier in comparison to the other 8 teams. So that cannot be an excuse for the team, They were the best prepped in comparison to everyone else. Pakistan lost all 4 ODI's against England with 1 match being washed off, But everybody saw the bigger picture that hopefully they don't make these major mistakes come crunch time. No major changes had been made to the squad, Amir was always going to be included from what I know, Wahab also came in afterwards controversially but both fast powers merited their places after performing well throughout the tournament so props to the think tank there. Results: Results of course are the most important part of any tournament. 6 wins and 12 points as I'm sure most would say would have always been the secured spot for a semi final place before the tournament began. Out of a total of 9 games, Pakistan accumulated 5 wins, 1 point from a washed out game and 3 losses. 1 in particular being very heavy which was against the West Indies. The other was a game which Pakistan were favourites to win as it went on but in their typical unpredictable fashion ended up losing against Australia by 41 runs. The loss against India was a clear as night and day. A superior team defeating a side that can only sometimes punch well above their weight. Campaign: My opinion always is; Before the knock out stages. In a tournament you can afford to have 1 bad game, You can take that L as long as its not extremely damaging and you learn from it and progress so it becomes a lesson to you instead of a loss. Unfortunately for Pakistan. You also need to have luck at times and for Pakistan they weren't lucky enough to get that in this tournament. So that 1 loss set their pathway from the beginning, Defeating England was a surprise to the world but like I said. They are a side who sometimes can punch well above their weight and they proved that but then as they gained massive confidence and faith within their abilities the game against Sri Lanka was washed off, Training was resorted indoors for 10 days due to the bad weather. If you play Cricket on a regular you would know there's a lot of difference between playing indoors and outdoors. The team had consecutive games against eventual semi finalists Australia and India which I've already spoken about and had to regroup. I personally predicted Pakistan to win all 4 of the last remaining games, But I did say this. 2 will be comprehensive, 1 would be a thrashing and the other will be a close game. All 4 occurred and with that, Pakistan proved the rollercoaster team they are. Positives: Unlike the last two times Pakistan have been eliminated from the group stages, The near future seems fairly exciting rather than declining. Babar Azam can easily play for any of the best teams in the World and he was outstanding at 3 in the World Cup; Imam-ul-Haq may not be everyone's favourite nephew but continues to prove his worth and is good enough for now and especially for his age there's not many available players in the country better as an opener, Haris Sohail should be hailed for the way he came in against South Africa and New Zealand after being dropped straight after the West Indies disaster. I know his fitness is a concern at times but ever so occasionally for certain players we have to make exceptions due to how much they contribute with the bat and he should bat at 4 for Pakistan for the foreseeable futures but will he is another question. Imad Wasim has started to find consistency again in his batting at a position which Pakistan desperately needed, His bowling in ODI's remains a concern and he's considered a genuine wicket taking option but with talks of him being a future captain he's proved his worth for now. Amir resurrected himself to the bowler we all knew he can be, Perhaps alongside Babar a very good argument for Pakistan's player of the tournament. For our sake let's hope he comes off age in bilateral's too now. Shaheen Shah Afridi is just getting started and already the youngest with a 6 wicket haul in World Cup history especially at Lords, He's got to keep up this hard work and thrive even harder than before now. Shadab Khan wasn't phenomenal, But he got some crucial breakthroughs throughout the tournament and as always was reliable on the field. In his 2nd ODI tournament especially with both in England and him being as young as he is, He is learning extremely well and just keeps developing so without doubt he will be one of the worlds finest cricketers in a few years time. Wahab Riaz did well, Much better than many expected. But he's already 34 and should be moved on. The management wanted someone with pace - control and well, He did that but you also gave Mohammad Hasnain a 3 month holiday and I'm sure he'll provide us plenty of pace in the years to come. Apart from Haris and Imad, Everyone else is 26 or under. So there's a lot of hope yet. Negatives: Fakhar Zaman was below average throughout the World cup, His consistency is starting to decline tremendously. Over the years we've seen selectors with other boards have faith in their openers and persist with them series after Series of poor scores and with pretty much all of them that decision paid off but will Fakhar be as lucky as them? Time will tell. Shoaib Malik has been horrendous in England since he made his debut in the country 20 years ago and gracefully he accepted his retirement and went with it as he said so. But his performances were really poor and he was one of the worst Pakistani players in the tournament. Mohammed Hafeez is said to be 38 and the Professor doesn't look like he's going anywhere either after coming out saying he has no plans of retiring. A below par World Cup for one of the senior Pakistan players and the selectors should really consider dropping him if they are looking to the future. Asif Ali played the whole England series before the World Cup and still got picked and didn't prove to be any better. That should be his International career over for a while. Sarfraz should stay for now, He's not earned it. But nobody else in this side looks ready to be a skipper either despite what the reports say of who wants it. Also, His batting didn't have much to show for either which is the major concern as Rizwan keeps piling up the runs elsewhere but as soon as his leadership abilities are caught lacking he somehow manages to inspire and after the India game the least he could have done was prove he can play and lead a side to win 4 crucial games in a row and he did. Just like Fakhar Zaman; Hassan Ali seems a shadow of the player he was 2 years ago and the former No.1 ODI bowlers decline is consistently occurring and he was very poor. He'll most likely keep his place as the management rate him extremely highly but by the next World Cup he was supposed to be the leader of the attack alongside Amir but Shaheen and who knows even Hasnain may leave him behind in the pecking order. Verdict: I've written the ages of the players from the current squad in 4 years time and most of these players should play the next World Cup unless a string of low performances occur for an extremely long period of time: Imam (26) Babar (27) Haris (34) Imad (33) Shadab (23) Amir (30) Shaheen (22) That's 4 more players; An opening batsman, A wicket-keeping batsman, A middle order batsman and another fast bowler to complete an XI. It's not going to be easy. It never is with Pakistan cricket. But by the next World Cup pretty much all those players will be well and truly at their prime, Well they should be anyway and they should be playing the best cricket of their careers so don't look down on some of those men in green yet. The best is perhaps yet to come.