Pak cricketers regret for letting Pakistan down in World Cup

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LAHORE: Opener Imam-ul-Haq on Tuesday acknowledged that the Pakistan team should have won their World Cup match against Australia and regretted that his dismal performance in that game contributed to the Green Shirts’ loss.

“That match was very much going in our favour and I was set [on the pitch]. But then I got out and Pakistan was let down because of me,” Imam said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.

Sitting alongside him was star batsman Babar Azam, who too said he should not have gotten out in the match against Australia. “It was my mistake that I played a bad shot. If I hadn’t been dismissed maybe there would have been good results.”

LAHORE: July09-Cricketer Baber Azam along with Imam-ul-Haq addressing the press conference at Gaddafi Stadium.

Imam regretted that his maiden World Cup century hadn’t come in his team’s earlier matches. “At the same time, this is cricket. You have to learn from your mistakes. Not everything can go the way you want it to,” he said.

Vowing to improve his performance in the future, Imam noted that the Pakistani fans and the team were “upset” that they were unable to qualify for the semi-finals due to a low net run-rate.”I wanted to contribute more, but that’s life. Humans learn from their mistakes and so will I,” he said.

Asked to comment on reports that the selection committee would be dissolved, Imam said his job was only to perform and these matters were for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to decide.

Babar acknowledged that their chastening seven-wicket defeat by the West Indies in the first match of the World Cup had haunted them till the very end. But “all teams come with preparation and unfortunately we were not able to score well in the first match”, he said.

Earlier, all-rounder Imad Wasim on Monday dismissed rumours of grouping within the Pakistani cricket team, also saying that the players had decided to “avoid the media” after the humiliating defeat in a World Cup group stage match against India.

Wasim was addressing a press conference in Islamabad along with teammate Shadab Khan.

The players returned to the country from the United Kingdom after Pakistan failed to qualify for the semifinals due to net run-rate difference with New Zealand after both the teams earned 11 points each from nine league matches.

The all-rounder said that had there been any grouping within the team, he would not have played. “All of us play for Pakistan,” he declared and added: “I’ve known Sarfaraz for 15 years, he is not that type of a person. There have never been any disagreements or disputes. On field, if there are minor disagreements or if the captain says something, we should take it as a player.”

Wasim told reporters that Ahmed had called a team meeting after the match against India, where all players had “backed and supported each other”.