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Captains on the back foot after early exits

Mirpur: The calls for the heads of captains who failed to steer their team to the ICC World Twenty20 semi-finals have begun following the end of the group stage on Tuesday.

Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez was asked whether he would resign during his press conference after overseeing defeat by West Indies, while Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim had to strongly defend his and his team’s performance after they lost all their group games.

Hafeez, without losing his cool, said: “After a loss, such things come up. But you have to keep in mind that no team wins because of any one individual or loses because of any one individual. It was a good display overall but, in this match, we didn’t play well. We take collective responsibility. It’s not one person’s responsibility. The entire management, all the players are equally responsible.

“I apologise to the people of Pakistan as captain and on behalf of the team for not living up to their expectations. But these things happen in cricket. You are the same person who plays good and bad cricket. But it is important that you take the good things going forward and maintain it.”

Rahim was asked to explain his team’s poor performances. “If we could identify the problem, then we would have played better. We ourselves cannot understand where the problem lies because we were practising properly, doing the little things properly, and everyone tried to apply themselves.

“Maybe we are not realising the problem, maybe outsiders will be able to understand. Now that the tournament is over we will try to get feedback from them and hope that we can solve the problem as soon as possible.”

Rahim was also asked to comment on teammate Shakib Al Hasan’s statement during an interview that 90 per cent of Bangladeshis do not have patriotic feelings. He said: “I try not to read papers during big tournaments. If he has said or written this, then it is his personal opinion and I cannot comment on this because I have not seen what he has written or said.”

While all captains are under pressure and defending themselves, West Indies’ Darren Sammy stands out as the most loved leader. His match-winning knocks and jovial approach has impressed everyone.

Teammate Dwayne Bravo said: “Sammy is one of the most dangerous batters in this format, he’s a very strong guy and he is a captain who leads from the front. He’s played two great match-winning innings and the team has come out on top.

“He is very down to earth, very approachable and he keeps the dressing room calm. There is no malice in our team, so whether Sammy is the captain, Chris Gayle is the captain, we all get along very well, respect each other and always have a smile on our face.”