Pakistan v West Indies, World T20, Group 2, Mirpur April 1, 2014

Hafeez apologises for Pakistan performance


Mohammad Hafeez was asked pretty direct questions after Pakistan failed to make the World T20 semi-finals with a heavy defeat to West Indies.

He was asked if he was considering resigning as T20 captain and if he was the No. 3 batsman the side needed. He was asked why Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik were persevered with. He was asked if the Pakistan team management was good enough. In reply, Hafeez apologized to the people of Pakistan for his team's unsuccessful campaign and said that the entire team was collectively responsible.

"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."

There were few good things for Pakistan against West Indies. They gave away too many runs at the death, lost too many early wickets, and could not get going in the chase at all. Hafeez said his batsmen's shot selection had been wrong. "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 had a disappointing World T20 personally as well, making 55 runs from four innings at a strike-rate of 72.36. While admitting that he could not perform in this tournament, Hafeez felt that overall, he had done alright in the position. "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. 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."

When asked if moving forward meant dropping those who had not performed, Hafeez said that was the domain of the selectors. "Good and bad, you must take them together and look to the future. The selectors will look at it, they will see who are the players that need to be replaced. That is their job. The team is selected by the selection committee, but the responsibility is not any one individual's. If the players haven't played well, then they must take the responsibility."

Malik and Akmal had a poor World T20 as well, making 52 and 48 runs respectively in four innings each. Hafeez acknowledged that they had fallen short of expectations. "They will also be sad. 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."

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    Pakistan 11 For Next 10 years will be, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir, Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razaq, Kamran Akmal, Sohail Tanveer, Rana naveed, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Sami

    On the Bench Taufeeq Umar, Misbah, Younis, Mohammad Yousuf, Rao Iftikhar, Sania Mirza

  • Mohammed Athar on April 2, 2014, 19:06 GMT

    Pakistan need a big change, what are you waiting for now. Please re-call Abdul Razzak, Imran Nazir and Nasir Jamsheed and in the bowling department we need Mohammed Irfan, Junaid Khan etc. Abdul Razzak shall be the captain of the team.

  • Mohammed Athar on April 2, 2014, 19:00 GMT

    Yes, we still need Abdul Razzak. He has lot of cricket left in him, I think he is lot better than the all youngsters and also when compared with the present team. He can handle pressure not like Hafeez who takes pressure, Pakistan need Abdul Razzak in the team.

  • Anis on April 2, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    Persons who play professional cricket, as in other sports, have been doing so since childhood and have come across adverse weather, ground, pitch conditions. They are not in new environment. Inconsistency reflects immaturity. Pakistan cricket is inconsistent. Players must accept responsibility of their game. They are playing for their country. They are supposedly top eleven and must play responsibly. It seems, every player plays, in the way they think is best, which, if cricket was an individual sports, would be okay and there would be successes. But cricket is a team sports, a sport one plays for the greater glory of one's team, of one's country and so with it comes responsible play. Pakistan cricket team is inconsistent and has been so, for a decade or more. It either plays poorly or superbly. There is no place in professional cricket for chance games and chance matches. Continued.

  • Anis on April 2, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    Well, so much for Pakistan cricket. In my opinion, professionalism in sport is to implement knowledge of a sport and training, in an effectual manner such that desired outcome is achieved. In sports, emotional responses are detrimental to one's goal. Person's whose profession is sports, must work towards achieving a level of professionalism, where maturity is at play. Maturity is obtained with general education, education of one's sports, with time and experience. It is these factors which build up a player's character, a team's character. There must be no place for emotional hijacking of a game or match. Stress involved, be it due to weather conditions, or be it ground and / or pitch conditions, or off field issues, are matters, which one learns to handle and cope with, and, possibly exploit using their education. Education, time and experience provide maturity. Incomplete. Continued:

  • MH on April 2, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    Please, time to move on ok. A. Razaq - really? How about Javed Miandad? At least I know I could depend on Javed sticking around and not succumbing to pressure.

    We need mental toughness, not going back to yester years. There are enough quality young players, let's develop them.

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2014, 14:51 GMT

    i think pak lost the match in the last 3 overs where two front line Pakistani bowlers were attacked which eventually put pressure on the whole team but no problem boys next time

  • Android on April 2, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    I don't have any question about their talent and skills but they aren't mentally tough which is quiet clear in the last five overs of west Indies inn. once the panic button push they all forget how to managed the situation. Especially the skipper Hafeez conditions speaking in volume ,the preesure is proving better then his talent and skills. along pressure handling the other factor is bad selection of the team our selectors fail to pick the right player for the given condition. A.Razzaq can make a big difference in batting and specially with his medium pace bowling in such conditions but not selected. let's see when they realize their mistakes.

  • Uzy on April 2, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    Pak fans seem to ignore that Hafeez has apologized.Most other team's captains would find an excuse for a humiliating loss and maintain their own egos.Hafeez has performed consistently for Pakistan, more as a bowler than a top order batsman.He is as inconsistent in batting as A. Shezad or U Akmal but brings more value through his bowling.Kamran and Malik instead of Alam and Anwar Ali goes beyond understanding especially since both performed when given the opportunity recently, a simple answer is because those lads are from Karachi.The team was selected by the previous selection committee, now changed with R Latif as chief selector.Tanvir is no more the threat he was when he first arrived and his experience doesn't count for anything since he lacks skills to begin with.Jamshed should be worked on and bought back.Maqsood/Bhatti can be persisted with provided they can fulfill the voids in Pakistani team.Before WC 2015 Pakistan needs a quality seam bowler who can shine on Australian pitches

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2014, 14:04 GMT

    I think it's time for pcb to announce a new captain, kamran akmal should be dropped for ever, and umer akmal needs to play domestic cricket until next world cup. Let me correct hafeez it's not bowling that cost us the match it was batting, west indies had weak bowling attack just like india there was no need to panic while chasing. For next 20 20 in 2016 that will be held in India we need to get two aggressive young openers for domestic club and give them license to go from the word go. Pakistani openers always struggle against any top team,if junaid would have bowled the over that gul bowled i m sure bravo woudnt be able to hit those yokers. it was the time to wake up, since Misbah willl lead 2015 world cup, we need to find hafeez replacement for 2016

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