Cricket-Pakistan's World Cup failure down to poor batting, Babar says


  • Cricket
  • Monday, 17 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - First T20 International - Pakistan Practice Session - Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds, Britain - May 21, 2024 Pakistan's Babar Azam during the practice session Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

(Reuters) - Pakistan captain Babar Azam said on Sunday the team's batting let them down at the Twenty20 World Cup and apologised to fans for failing to reach the Super Eight stage.

Pakistan fell to the tournament's biggest upset when the United States, a tier-two member of the game, beat the 2009 champions via Super Over. Defeat by arch-rivals India then left Babar's side with a mountain to climb to advance.

India and the U.S. bagged the two Super Eight slots from Group A while Pakistan finished third after Sunday's laboured three-wicket victory against Ireland.

"Thank you so much for supporting us, and sorry for that performance...," Babar said after the match in Florida.

"I know the fans and the team are saddened by this. It is not any one player's fault. We all made a mistake."

Babar had stepped down as captain of all three formats after Pakistan failed to make the knockout stage of the 50-overs World Cup in India last year, but was reinstated as white-ball skipper ahead of the 20-overs showpiece in the U.S. and West Indies.

Amid sub-par performances at the tournament, talk of rifts within the camp surfaced, while Pakistan Cricket Board's chief promised "major surgery" on the team after their exit was confirmed last week.

Pakistan's batting was a huge disappointment as they failed to make the most of the powerplay overs and could not get partnerships established.

"The pitches here helped the fast bowlers a little but I think overall our batting did not click," said Babar.

"We lost two crucial matches even when we were in charge."

All-rounder Imad Wasim has said the team needed a complete reset of their approach to white-ball cricket and Babar agreed.

"Every player has to think, because cricket has become very fast. With modern cricket, you must have game awareness," he said.

"You know that the strike rate here is (low)... I think it's about game awareness and common sense."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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