Pakistan cricket team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has said that the decision to retain him as skipper rests with the cricket board.
“It’s not that I’m saying I refuse to resign,” Sarfaraz said in a press conference in Karachi on Sunday. “All I’m saying is the decision rests with the Pakistan Cricket Board (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.”
Pakistan finished on fifth position in the Cricket World Cup under Sarfaraz’s leadership. The wicketkeeper batsman came under criticism for his captaincy and slow batting approach in the tournament.
The captain said that his side recovered well after a horrid start to their campaign and nearly made it to the semi-finals stage.
“We couldn’t do well against the West Indies in our tournament opener, but gained momentum by beating England, the home team and the favourites. Because of the delay in our next match due to a washout against Sri Lanka, we had lost that momentum and it reflected in our performances against Australia and India,” he said.
Sarfaraz added that the side always comes under fire when it performs poorly. He went on to say that 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. Some of the former players, who were commentating, were present there and provided us support and backing. I called up a meeting comprising of just the 15 players in the squad and discussed what mistakes were being made. The team responded really well and everyone gave their honest opinions and we were able to bounce back and win the final four games.”
Speaking on the video in which the Pakistani captain was being taunted for his fitness in a shopping mall, Sarfaraz said that he wasn’t the only one which was being targeted.
“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.
Sarfaraz expressed his satisfaction over the team’s performance.
“It was unfortunate that we couldn’t qualify due to net run rate 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.”