Pakistan news April 3, 2014

Hafeez quits as Pakistan T20 captain


Mohammad Hafeez has stepped down as Pakistan's T20 captain, just days after the team's exit from the group stage of the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh. Hafeez has also relinquished the vice-captaincy of the ODI side as well.

He was given the T20 captaincy in May 2012 after Misbah-ul-Haq decided to step down. Misbah continues to lead the Test and ODI sides.

"As a Pakistan T20 captain I solely take the whole responsibility for the performance in the World T20 and decided to step down from the captaincy," Hafeez told a press conference after meeting with the PCB chairman Najam Sethi at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore. "Whether we played either good or bad I owe it as captain to produce results but it didn't happen. I had a productive discussion with the chairman and I myself offered to step down."

During his stint as T20 captain, Hafeez led Pakistan to the semi-finals of the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka. However, the team exited at group stage after losing to West Indies on Tuesday by a massive 84 runs. It was the first time Pakistan had failed to progress to the semi-finals in five editions of the tournament. Hafeez's overall T20 record stands at 18 wins (one via a one-over eliminator) and 11 losses from 29 matches

"I think as a captain I worked with all my honesty and tried to carry the team with a proper vision. The decision [to step down] is taken solely on the basis of the World T20 performance that wasn't up to the mark - the only major reason and nothing else.

"I thank all stakeholders who worked with me and players who executed my plans that were actually meant for the betterment [of the team]. I hope the decisions taken in the future will be good and taken in the interest of Pakistan cricket. Meanwhile, I am available as a player but will also distance myself from the vice-captaincy of ODI cricket."

Pakistan are currently facing a six-month period without international cricket and ESPNcricinfo understands that the PCB are in no rush to appoint a new T20 captain. Their next scheduled fixtures are a full tour against Australia in the UAE which includes two Tests, three ODIs and one T20.

Hafeez, 33, said he was ready to join the ranks under any captain. He declined to tip anyone as his successor, saying that it is the responsibility of the board. On Wednesday, Shahid Afridi offered himself for the role an Hafeez and there is a belief in some quarters that Hafeez has stepped down to create room for Afridi to take over.

"There was no such pressure," Hafeez insisted. "It's only my decision amid the bad result in World T20 and new appointment is the responsibility for the cricket board. Being a player I am ready to play under any captain."

Moin Khan, meanwhile, has offered to continue with his role as head coach, though his initial contract was only for the Asia Cup and World T20.

Moin replaced Dav Whatmore when the PCB pressed towards having a homegrown coach but Pakistan's results under him have been mixed although they reached the final of the Asia Cup where they lost to Sri Lanka. But Moin defended his position saying it was always going to be difficult for him to have a significant impact in a short period of time.

"Cricket remains the same whoever the coach will be but it takes time to and you can't expect anything big in such a short-time," he said. "We did make the Asia Cup final but until you have a long-term role you can't make any difference."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 10, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    Current Pakistan team can just make 2 changes to make itself stable that is..getting back Abdur Razaak and Azhar Mahmood, both are specialist allrounders and good replacement for Malik and Kamran,

    In bowling, current lot panicked when hit around the park, they should learn Srilankan technique of last 4 overs which won them the title in finals.

    A good Leggie or left arm slower like Raina would further sharpen the bowling machinery, I am still surprised why Gul is still not learning from his experience.

    Batting, They should hire a coach from India it looks like..else talent like Shoib Maqsood will phase out like Imran or other openers

  • ESPN on April 9, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    Malik the only good choice for now. He's record as captain shows. He's got nothing to prove

  • Ronny on April 8, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    In Hafeez & Misbah we yet again have the same old story! Whenever in Power everyone in general and these two in particular have always preferred obedience, allegiance and subservience to talent! They have intentionally kept out talented lot like Imran Nazir, Razzaq, Sharjeel and even Younis. Its a famous saying that :Man proposes God disposes"-They evily planned to oust Younis from ODIz and installed Hafeez at #3. Youis has always been a potential threat for both of these mediocre because of his Leadership abilities as proven in 2009 WC T20 and of course his batting class which these two mediocre can only stand on the ground and look up! Imagine their nepotist approach; Shoaib Malik & Kamran Akmal sought in the squad on insistence of Hafeez who was rewarded by a passive selection panel of Azhar Khan, 1 Test-14 runs, Farrukh Zaman 2 Tests-0 Wkts & Salim Jaffar 14 Test & 39 ODIZ-14 & 40 Wkts respectively! We need to have a very strong selection committee wid players of calibre & dignity

  • Salman on April 7, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    Its all politics inside. How on earth can you take Malik in all the games of a major tournament when he is constantly a burden on the team (he didn't bowl a single delivery throughout). Junaid Khan & Sharjeel were dropped for no good reason. Sohail Tanvir is a mystery as well. Its time to send people home for good esp. Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Akmal and ofcourse Hafeez himself.

  • asad on April 6, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    @Crick_Expert: Some guys you want to get rid of doesn't make sense. 1) Sohail Tanvir- he needs to go & he is blocking place of good bowler 2) Bilawal Bhatti- his career just got started & with a proper coach he can be good. 3) Kamran Akmal- blocking place of good wicket keeper batsman, he needs to go 4) Shoaib Malik- can't bat, can't bowl, so not much of an all rounder & even drops catches. he is blocking place of good all rounder & needs to go. 5) Abdur Rehman- should only be picked for tests cuz he never gets chance in ODI or t20 & just up space in those squads but pretty handy bowler in tests. 6) Umar Gul- bowling is on decline but if there's a choice between Riaz, Tanvir & Gul then Gul is better. Should only be in squad when Irfan is injured. 7) Mohammad Talha- new bowler & performed well on debut ODI & test against SL but needs better coaching to get consistency.

    In other words 1-out, 2-in, 3-out, 4-out, 5-only test, 6-out(especialliy when Amir & Irfan return), 7-in.

  • Ali on April 6, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    Captains should not be choosed on seniority but should be choose on consistent performance and past captaincy experience. Unfortunately neither of Pakistan player came close to this criteria, afridi is not a right choice for captaincy because he is not consistent and have horrific past experience as captain. Currently pakistan have no consistent performer and misbah is the only choice unless pcb grooms one.

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Most International teams employ a young captain (SL, Aus, Eng, SA, Ind have tried out raina and kholi) only Pak goes for old guard. I think the reason for this is lack of discipline and poor management: Ideally a young captain is required however a young guy will not get the respect and team cohesion from the seniors so for short term is probably best to go with AFRIDI as he will command respect from all players and has aggressive approach and never give up attitude!! Hopefully he will bat up the order to have most impact!!

  • Dummy4 on April 6, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    Hafeez remarks he was never keen on captaincy then why did you take on the role? you have to be ready and wanting to take on the responsibility to command respect and get the results!! His T20 records is not bad but I think 2 failed t20 WC (2012, 2014) where they did not even make it to semis and his own poor form was his main downfall. Respect to him for stepping down and realising his not fit for the role! Sad Pak don't have much cricket over the summer where as all other teams do and pak gov should request indian gov to let our players play in IPL where they will get high standard of coaching and competition from the worlds best players. If that happens you will see Pak team perform alot better in future tournaments!!

  • Rikaz on April 6, 2014, 1:43 GMT

    T20 Ahmed Shehzad-Imran Nazir-Nasir Jamshed-Umar Akmal(†)-Mohammad Hafeez -Abdul Razzaq-Shahid Afridi (C)-Bilawal Bhatti-Zulfiqar Babar-Umar Gul-Saeed Ajmal &Sohail Tanvir-Sharjeel Khan-Junaid Khan-Sohaib Maqsood

    ODI Ahmed Shehzad-Fawad Alam-Umar Akmal(†)-Mohammad Hafeez-Misbah Ul Haq (C)-Sohaib Maqsood-Abdul Razzaq-Shahid Afridi-Bilawal Bhatti-Junaid Khan-Umar Gul-Saeed Ajmal &Sohail Tanvir-Sharjeel Khan-Junaid Khan-Nasir Jamshed-Zulfiqar Babar-Bilawal Bhatti

    Test Ahmed Shehzad-Fawad Alam-Azar Ali-Younis Khan-Mohammad Hafeez-Misbah Ul Haq (C)-Umar Akmal(†)-Zulfiqar Babar-Umar Gul-Saeed Ajmal-Junaid Khan &Bilawal Bhatti-Asad Safiq-Sarfraz Ahmed(†)-Abdur Rehman

  • Rikaz on April 6, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    Ahmed Shehzad-Imran Nazir-Nasir Jamshed-Umar Akmal(+)-Mohammad Hafeez -Abdul Razzaq-Shahid Afridi (C)-Bilawal Bhatti-Zulfiqar Babar-Umar Gul-Saeed Ajmal &Sohail Tanvir-Sharjeel Khan-Junaid Khan-Sohaib Maqsood

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