ICC World T20 2012: Mohammad Hafeez defends his decision to drop Abdul Razzaq for semi-final

Mohammad Hafeez returned to Lahore on Saturday with some Pakistan cricketers Getty Images

Lahore: Oct 7, 2012

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez conceded that the team could not live up to the expectations of its fans at the World Twenty20 but insisted that the side gave its best before being ousted in the semifinals.

Hafeez on Saturday returned to Lahore along with some other players and coach Dav Whatmore.

“We all knew that our people were following the World Twenty20 very closely and wanted us to do well and play in the final. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that and Sri Lanka was the better team in the semifinal,” he said.

“But I am satisfied that the entire team worked hard and gave their best. We remained positive throughout the tournament and overall our performance was good but we failed at the final stage,” he said.

Hafeez, who has come under criticism for his stubborn refusal to go lower down the order and on his penchant to take unilateral decisions in crucial matches, said like everyone else he also wanted to see his team play in the final.

“But this was one of the toughest World Twenty20 tournaments we have played in and every match was very hard. All the teams came well prepared,” he said.

Asked about the defeat to India in the super eights after having beaten them in a warm-up game, Hafeez said the team had failed to post a challenging total needed to put pressure on the rival batsmen.

“But we have some positives from the tournament like the performances of Reza Hasan and Umar Akmal and we need to work on our positive points.”

Defending the decision to drop experienced allrounder Abdul Razzaq for the semi final against Sri Lanka, Hafeez said that the decision not to include Razzaq in the team was that of the team management, as one bowler was required.

The players who returned home to Lahore included Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Saeed Ajmal, Imran Nazir, Sohail Tanveer, Nasir Jamshed and Coach Dav Whatmore.

Most of the returning players including Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Raza Hasan and Abdul Razzaq will be leaving for South Africa to play in the Champions League. (PTI)