After Pakistan cricket team’s World Cup journey came to an end, the players returned to homeland yesterday. Shortly after, Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed held a press conference at the National Stadium, Karachi, to answer queries of media and convey his high-spirited and unapologetic message post world cup.
“I’m here to say thanks to all of you for coming today because I wanted to share details of Pakistan’s World Cup journey, which tragically ended on a premature note. However, I’m very proud of my team members for finishing the tournament on a high with four [consecutive] victories and we don’t have to say sorry for the early exit. As a team, we improved after a very poor start,” said the skipper while talking to media representatives.
Sarfaraz added that albeit team’s poor performance against Australia and India, some incidents occurred which were way beyond the line and the players came under distress due to such happenings.
“There were some incidents with the players including myself in London which we reported to the Board. They were not needed and it hurt and shook the players. We were upset at losing to India but we did not expect such reactions, even though isolated.
But everything started to get right mainly due to the words of encouragement from some current players present in England and the TV commentators. They all agreed such incidents shouldn’t take place because winning and losing is part and parcel of cricket,” added Sarfaraz.
However, Sarfaraz added that before the match with South Africa, the green shirts had a week to themselves, during this time the captain shared that he had a one on one talk with the players.
“I simply told the players that somewhere we are not doing what we should’ve done,” said the captain.
Sarfaraz reiterated that after that the team made an astounding comeback and till last day – the match against Bangladesh – each player played his best to help the team sail through.
“The results of the last four games are in front of everyone because the team collectively responded brilliantly. I do admit we didn’t play to our potential and made mistakes upfront but I’m very, very proud of the way Pakistan bounced back. It was an outstanding team effort that led to us winning four successive matches at the backend of the league stage,” said the 32-year old wicketkeeper.
Sarfaraz also shunned rumors around his captaincy. He confidently remarked that while it is for PCB to decide who to nominate captain, he himself is not quitting on the back of team’s early exit.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board will decide on who will be the captain. But personally, since you asked me, I know these players very well now. Most of them are young and if we learn from our mistakes in the World Cup, I can take this team to the next level, especially with the World T20 Cup coming up next year in Australia,” Safaraz stated with a confident smile on his face.