Lahore: 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 semi-finals.
On Saturday Hafeez 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 semi-final," 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 this was one of the toughest edition of the World Twenty20. "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.
"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.
Those 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, Reza Hasan and Abdul Razzaq, will be leaving for South Africa to play in the Champions League.