Hafeez apologises for Pakistan's performance


Mohammad Hafeez could do little other than apologise as he was grilled by the press room following Pakistan's dismal failure against the West Indies on Tuesday.

Mohammad Hafeez could do little other than apologise as he was grilled by the press room following Pakistan's dismal failure against the West Indies on Tuesday.

Amid questions over his suitability as Pakistan's T20 captain and No 3 batsman, the form of Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik and the failures of Pakistan's team management, Hafeez apologised to the people of Pakistan and said the team as a whole must take the blame for failing against the Windies and not making the World T20 semi-finals.

"After a loss, such things come up," Hafeez said. "But you have to keep in mind that no team wins because of any one individual or loses because of any one individual. It was a good display overall, but in this match, we didn't play well. We take collective responsibility. It's not one person's responsibility. The entire management, all the players, are equally responsible.

"The management has worked hard with the players. All the plans, they were able to reach the players, gave us all the practice. At the end of the day, the players have to deliver, they have to execute the plans. In this tournament, especially in this match, if the execution wasn't good, then the responsibility lies with the players, not the management. But as a team, we didn't do well. All of us have to accept it.

"I apologise to the people of Pakistan as captain and on behalf of the team that we couldn't live up to their expectations. But these things happen in cricket. You are the same person who plays good and bad cricket. But it is important that you take the good things going forward and maintain that."

While shipping as many runs as they did against the West Indies at the death during their bowling effort was disappointing, their capitulation with the bat was even more of a concern.

Hafeez said poor shot selection was ultimately to blame.

"The plans were in place but once the pressure got on to them, our best bowlers Saeed Ajmal and Umar Gul didn't do the basics right. They leaked too many runs towards the end. We didn't get the momentum in our favour.

"We played some of the shots which were not there and losing too many wickets in the first six overs really cost the game. The batsmen have to take the responsibility. There was never any one innings that came forward. When the momentum is not with you, you get to see this kind of cricket where even good teams can collapse."

Hafeez' own performance with the bat was nothing to write home about (55 runs from four innings at a strike-rate of 72.36) but he pointed to his overall performance at No 3 over the last 18 months as being a better indicator of his ability.

"From the last one and a half years, I have been doing this for the team, playing at No. 3 because the management want me to do this and I have been doing very well at this," he said.
"Unfortunately, in this tournament, I couldn't get the runs I wanted to. It happens sometimes in cricket – you try your level best but things don't work for you. This is one such tournament. I am disappointed with my own form, I couldn't score runs for the team. You have to accept it, you have to move forward from here."

As for the disappointing performances of Akmal and Malik, Hafeez conceded they had underperformed.

"They will also be sad," he said. "The selectors have trusted and picked them for a big tournament like this. But they didn't live up to those expectations. They are good players, they have played well for Pakistan but you are right, in this tournament there were not good performances from them.

"But Kamran's keeping is a positive. He has kept well, there have always been question marks over his keeping. Unfortunately, as an opener, he didn't bat as well. As for Shoaib Malik, he is a senior player, both haven't done very well."