Islamabad: Mohammad Hafeez quit as captain of Pakistan’s Twenty20 team on Thursday after it failed to qualify for the semifinals of the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. Hafeez announced the decision after meeting with the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board in Lahore and also said he will step down as vice-captain of both one-day and Test teams.
“I accept the whole responsibility of poor performance (in World Twenty20) and have stepped down from the captaincy,” Hafeez told reporters. “I am available to represent Pakistan in all the three formats and play under any captain.”
Reigning champion West Indies eliminated Pakistan with an 84-run victory in the last group match on Tuesday as the 2007 champions were bowled out for just 82 while chasing 167. Hafeez scored only 55 runs in four group matches and took only one wicket in the tournament when he got rid of dangerman Chris Gayle in the last match.
Pakistan defeated Bangladesh and Australia in two group matches but missed out on a semifinal spot for the first time with defeats against archrival India and West Indies.
Hafeez replaced Misbah ul-Haq as T20 captain in May 2012, but often faced criticism over his poor batting — especially while facing fast bowlers. He led Pakistan in 29 Twenty20s, winning 17 matches and losing 11 while one match against Australia in the United Arab Emirates in 2012 was tied. “I want to give someone else in the team a chance to take the side forward and hope better decisions will be made for the improvement of the team,” Hafeez said.
Starc stays back to support Healy
Dhaka: As the Australian women’s team went through the paces on the eve of their World T20 semi-final against the West Indies on Thursday, a strapping young man was seen entering the Club House arena of the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium unnoticed.
It was Mitchell Starc, the Australian fast bowler, who has stayed back to support his girlfriend Alyssa Healy for her important knock-out matches. Wearing a black polo neck and white three quarters, Starc quietly entered and showed his ticket to the security staff, who guided him towards the VIP lounge.
Was he here to support the women’s team? “Yeah, mate. They have done much better than the men’s team, haven’t they?” Starc replied to the query.
So there would be some support for Alyssa, right? “Yeah, I have definitely come to support her and hope she does well. I have just stayed back to spend some time with her,” he smiled.
A holiday after the tournament gets over? “Yeah, I suppose, we would take a break”. Starc’s presence certainly made the difference as Healy’s 21-ball-30 was an important factor in the team’s eight-run win. Alyssa is also the niece of former Aussie wicketkeeper Ian Healy.