Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed returned to Karachi early Sunday, and soon held his first post World Cup press conference after arriving home from England. The skipper did not feel there was any need for apologies for not making it to the semifinals of the tournament.
“There’s no need to say sorry because it is not like that we are coming back with two or four points next to our name. We couldn’t play well initially, but picked up later in the tournament,” he said.
After the team’s disheartening defeat against India, the players were subjected to a lot of criticism and hate by the fans. A video where Ahmed was being called derogatory remarks in public was also brought up, to which he said he wasn’t the only one was at the receiving end of public hate.
“It wasn’t only me who was subjected to slurs by fans. Many other players were also targeted in malls and other public places. Some things that happened did not get attention, but we reported all incidents to the management,” he said.
But the player fully acknowledged how they played poorly in the initial matches against West Indies, Australia, and India.
“There’s always criticism when you play poorly, and we did play poorly initially. A lot of things happened after the India game that hurt the players deeply. We were distressed by that defeat like every fan. It was really difficult for us to cope with the things that happened in the next seven days,” he said.
“I called up a meeting comprising just the 15 players in the squad and discussed what mistakes we might be making. The team responded really well, and everyone gave their honest opinions, and we bounced back and won the final four games,” he added.
Ahmed also lauded the efforts of all the players and everyone who worked behind the scenes to aid the team’s overall performance, including Mickey Arthur.
“Anyhow, it is unfortunate that we couldn’t qualify due to NRR. But I am happy with every player. Everyone, regardless of their seniority or experience, contributed. I am also thankful to the coaching staff. They are normally behind the scenes and don’t get credit. But I am thankful to them and especially to Mickey Arthur who kept things together in that difficult time,” he said.
And once again, the player was inquired about the status of his captaincy in the future, and his response remaining how its all in the hands of the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“It’s not that I’m saying I refuse to resign. All I’m saying is the decision rests with the PCB, the same way as the decision to appoint me captain was taken by them. I’m sure they’ll take the decision that’s best for Pakistan,” he said.