Friday, Oct 31, 2014

Mohammad Hafeez steps down as Pakistan T20 captain

Mohammad Hafeez had a poor run with the bat in the ICC T20 World Cup 2014.  (AP) Mohammad Hafeez had a poor run with the bat in the ICC T20 World Cup 2014. (AP)
Associated Press | Islamabad | Posted: April 3, 2014 5:48 pm | Updated: April 3, 2014 7:58 pm

Mohammad Hafeez has stepped down as Pakistan’s T20 captain after their early exit from the World T20 tournament in Bangladesh.

All rounder Hafeez announced he was stepping down as the T20 captain and also as vice-captain of the test and one-day sides in Lahore on Thursday after a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Najam Sethi.

“As captain I take responsibility for our performance and I have decided to step down. I will be available as a player for all formats,” Hafeez said.

Pakistan was soundly beaten by West Indies in a do or die match last Tuesday which put them out of the World T20 – a tournament in which Pakistan had always qualified for the semi-finals since its inception in 2007.

Hafeez, 33, was made national T20 captain in 2012 and has played 36 tests, 146 ODIs and 58 T20 internationals.

“It was a decision I took after much thought and I apologise to the people who have always supported me for our performance in the tournament,” he said.

Hafeez said no one had pressurised him to step down.

“Now whoever the board appoints as captain I will be there to support him,” he said. “I have played under captains as well and always given my best.”

The PCB chief met with Hafeez and the head coach of the team, Moin Khan and senior cricket consultant Zaheer Abbas on Tuesday to discuss the performance of the team.

Asked if had also contemplated stepping down as head coach, former test captain Moin Khan said his contract with the board was for two tournaments and it was over now.

“Our contracts are over now and not everyone can take responsibility,” he said. “I think Hafeez has set a very healthy precedent by taking responsibility for the team’s performance.”

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