I could not live up to the hopes you had from me, Afridi apologises to nation

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Sports on Wednesday, March 30, 2016

KARACHI: After the Pakistani cricket team’s disappointing dismissal from the World T20 in India, skipper Shahid Afridi took to Facebook to ask forgiveness from cricketing fans all over the country for what he termed his failure to meet the nation’s expectations.

“I am here to answer to you,” Afridi tells the nation in a video posted to Facebook, “And today I seek forgiveness from you because the hopes you had from me and my team, I could not live up to them.”

“When I wear this uniform, when I walk onto the pitch, I carry with me the sentiments of my countrymen. This is not a team of just 11 players, it is made up of every Pakistani,” he says.

Afridi’s apology comes just a day after the Pakistani team’s head coach, Waqar Younis, also offered an apology to the nation during a ‘fact-finding’ enquiry conducted to probe the team's performance during the series.

“I’ve been very hurt by the situation [that has surrounded Pakistan cricket] and my comments in recent press conferences show it. I apologise to the nation and if my leaving makes things better, then I will do it without delay,” he said.

“We don’t need stars, we need heroes,” Younis said, elaborating that there was a need to ‘dig deep’ and find such heroes for the Pakistani team.

Sharjeel Khan was Pakistan’s highest run-scorer in the WT20 series with 112 runs in 4 matches while Shehzad, who was recalled to the team at the last minute, scored up 108 runs in as many WT20 outings.

Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik scored less than 100 runs in 4 matches and failed to take responsibility when the side needed it.

‘Boom Boom’ was off colour with the ball as well, as his side failed to make their presence felt at the world event and crashed out in the group stage.

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s fact-finding committee convened in Lahore on Tuesday for a three-day period but it was learnt that Waqar Younis submitted a ‘damning’ report on the team's World T20 performance on Monday.

The committee, which includes Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and senior batsman Younis Khan, has been given the mandate by the board to meet and talk to the captain, coach, manager and senior players of the national team.

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