Mohammed Hafeez celebrates a wicket

Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-final of the World Cup suffered a massive blow after their 89 runs defeat at the expense of arch-rivals India.

Despite winning the toss, Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed elected to field at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Veteran campaigner Mohammed Hafeez addressed media ahead of their match against South Africa at the Lord’s on Sunday.

Pakistan has only won one match and that win came against England with Mohammed Hafeez scoring 84 runs. However, he got out for 9 runs against India.

Pakistan has to win all of their remaining games and pray that other results to go in their favour.

Hafeez said that nobody can be blamed individually and the whole team has to take the blame.

“I tell you that to see the team at number nine is hurting all of us,” said veteran Hafeez, whose 84 anchored Pakistan’s innings of 348-8 in their only win, over hosts England. They opened their campaign with a seven-wicket loss against West Indies, also going down to defeats to Australia and India, while their match against Sri Lanka was washed out.

Their final three games are against New Zealand, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. “We failed collectively as a team,” said Hafeez. “We could not produce a team effort and individual brilliance did not help us either. In cricket these days, you need a team performance.” “We can’t blame any single person. Everyone is responsible for failing to deliver,” added the 38-year-old, who said harsh media criticism after their heavy defeat against India on Sunday had been tough on the players.

“All of us are also hurt by the negative campaign in the media where players and their families were targeted. There was the talk of groupings (factions) in the team which was wrong. “Why don’t you talk about such things when the team is winning?” Hafeez said despite the perilous situation, all was not lost for Pakistan.

“All is not finished for us,” he said. “We are focused on our next game and we are eager to win that match. We had ample time after the India game to regroup for a new beginning.” Hafeez defended the decision to send India in to bat after winning the toss, despite advice from Prime Minister Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to their 1992 World Cup win, to do the opposite.

“It was a team decision and that cannot be made on what someone has tweeted. It was the team’s decision. We didn’t bowl well and that’s why we lost that game,” he said.

Pakistan’s next match is against fellow strugglers South Africa at Lord’s on Sunday.


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