Hafeez Stands Down As T20 Captain
Following his side's failure to qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 in Bangladesh, Mohammad Hafeez has resigned as Pakistan's captain in the shortest format of the game.
Impressive wins against Australia and Bangladesh were not enough for Pakistan to reach the knockout stages of the competition, in which they also lost to rivals India and reigning champions the West Indies.
Hafeez took over as Twenty20 captain in 2012, succeeding Misbah-ul-Haq, leading the side to the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka that year.
There, they lost out to the hosts, but in Bangladesh, they failed to emerge from the group stage for the first time, having achieved the feat on four straight occasions in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012.
Nevertheless, under his captaincy, Pakistan briefly occupied second place in the world rankings and won series against South Africa, the West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Following the side's return home from Bangladesh, Hafeez said that he would also be stepping down as vice-captain to Misbah in Test and One-Day International cricket.
"Today I have met the PCB chairman Najam Setthi and discussed the issues," he said.
"I am standing down as captain of the T20 cricket team. I am thankful to the chairman of the PCB, who gave me the captaincy and I am also thankful to all the senior officials."
"I took all the decisions by myself and I am not under any pressure. I am taking all responsibility as captain of the T20 cricket team and as a Pakistani".
He then revealed that he had been a reluctant captain and that he hopes to remain part of the team in the future.
"I took this decision for the benefit of Pakistan cricket and to give a clean sheet to the PCB. They can see who is better for the captaincy, they can select and give responsibility to him.
"As a player I was never keen to be a captain - I always try to be humble with my team colleagues, and try to perform better and will continue in the future."
Pakistan's next Twenty20 International is a one-off game against Australia in Dubai on 3rd October.
Voting so far on PakPassion for who should replace Hafeez as T20 captain sees S Afridi leading with 44%, A Shehzad 23%, U Akmal 9% #Cricket— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 3, 2014
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