World Cup 2019: Proud of the way Pakistan fought back in the tournament, says Sarfaraz

Updated: Jul 08, 2019, 09:24 IST | PTI |

Addressing a press conference, hours after returning from London, Sarfaraz Ahmed said that his team did not fare poorly and was close to making the knockout stage

Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed

Karachi: Neither ashamed nor in a mood to quit after Pakistan failed to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals, skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed yesterday said that he can take his young team to the "next level".

Addressing a press conference, hours after returning from London, the wicketkeeper-batsman said that his team did not fare poorly and was close to making the knockout stage. "I don't think we need to be ashamed of anything. We had a tough time in the first five matches, specially after the defeat to India, but I'm proud of the way the team fought back to win the last four matches. Given the tough conditions we faced in England, I think we did respectably well," Sarfaraz said, going on to flatly refuse suggestions that it's time he gave up the captaincy.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board will decide on who will be the captain but personally, since you asked me, I know these players very well now. Most of them are young and if we learn from our mistakes in the World Cup, I can take this team to the next level, especially with the World T20 coming up next year in Australia," he said.

Pakistan finished fifth in the World Cup after they lost the semi-final race to New Zealand on Net-Run-Rate.

The skipper even refusing to believe the perception that India deliberately lost to England, hurting Pakistan's semi-final chances. A lot of former Pakistan cricketers doubted that India did not give their best against England, putting obstacles in their side's road to semi, but Sarfaraz said: "No, it is not right to say this. I don't think India lost because of us. England played well to win."

He also pulled up a journalist for referring to Bangladesh as Bengalis. "Please don't use this word. It could become an issue for you on social media. I think you should address them as Bangladesh," he told a TV reporter when asked why the team management did not give Shoaib Malik a farewell match against the 'Bengalis'.

"Shoaib is our senior-most player and though he did not have a good World Cup, he has served the country a lot. His presence was very good for all of us," Sarfaraz said.

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