Babar Azam throws team under the bus after T20 World Cup

Pakistan concluded their T20 World Cup campaign with a narrow three-wicket victory over Ireland, yet skipper Babar Azam expressed regret over the critical mistakes made in earlier Group A matches against India and the USA.

Babar Azam played a crucial role in Pakistan’s chase against Ireland, remaining unbeaten on 32 as they pursued a modest target of 107, nearly faltering in the process.

Reflecting on their performance, Babar highlighted the team’s struggle with batting under pressure. “I think with the bowling, conditions suited our bowlers. But in batting, we made a few mistakes in the matches against the USA and India. When you lose wickets, the pressure is on you,” he stated during the post-match presentation.

In the post-match press conference, Babar addressed the team’s overall performance and collective responsibility for the early exit. “Everyone is disheartened because of our performance. We didn’t play as a team. This is not because of an individual; we lost as a team.”

“It’s not just the captain,” he added. “I cannot play for every player as there are 11 players. They are in the World Cup because each player has an assigned role. The execution wasn’t there and we have to sit down and work out what needs to be done. I accept that we didn’t play as a team.”

Pakistan’s campaign saw defeats against India and the USA, followed by wins against Canada and Ireland. Despite the disappointing run, Babar took solace in the team’s final victory. “Yes, we finished well. We took early wickets with the ball. But with the bat, we didn’t finish well. We lost back-to-back wickets, but got over the line in the end.”

Looking ahead, Babar emphasized the need for introspection and reassessment without confirming his future as captain. “Let’s see what the team needs. I’ll be okay with it. We have a good bunch of players. We have to go home, chat, and see where we lacked, and then come back,” he added.

Fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, named Player of the Match, also reflected on the team’s shortcomings. “We haven’t played the kind of cricket our country demands. We have a few areas to improve on. It’s tough,” said Afridi.

Ireland’s captain, Paul Stirling, admitted their struggle to find the right team balance throughout the tournament. “It’s getting that balance right. T20…we probably haven’t got that this time around. It’s been a difficult couple of weeks. We’ll go back, regroup, and see if we can come back stronger,” he noted.

Despite a bittersweet end, Pakistan looks ahead to regroup and return stronger in future competitions.

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