RAWALPINDI   -   Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan expressed their utter disappointment over Pakistan cricket team’s exit at the league stage of the ICC World Cup terming it unsatisfactory performance.

Both said there during a press conference held here at Pindi Cricket Stadium. Imad made it clear that he is not in the running to replace Sarfraz Ahmed as national team captain and it is purely PCB’s provocative, whom they appoint captain or not. My job is to deliver well for the national team and play leading role in helping Pakistan team in achieving new milestones.

He said: “I think, we could have done better, but after losing the first match against West Indies with almost 37 overs to spare, we lost the momentum, while the crunch match against India also didn’t help Pakistan team’s cause. We failed to deliver against India, which we could have won. After losing comprehensively against India and Australia, we had just one aim in mind to win next four matches, which we successfully managed to achieve.”

Imad added: “Unfortunately, we failed to keep an eye on the team’s run-rate, which was very poor, but situations kept on changing, as against Afghanistan, we lost some crucial wickets, which forced us to be on the back foot and we just tried to win the match, rather than going for enhancing run-rate.

When this scribe asked Imad about the match against New Zealand with a few overs to spare, he replied: “Yes, we could have won the New Zealand match with some overs to spare, but pitch was very slow and their spinner was bowling exceptionally. But I do agree, we had chances of improving run-rate in the Kiwis match but we couldn’t do so due to one reason or another.”

When asked why skipper Sarfraz Ahmed called a spate meeting with players without involving team management and coaches and whether there is any truth in the stories of grouping in the team, Imad said: “It is true that Sarfraz Ahmed had a meeting with us, but it is completely rubbish that there was any grouping in Pakistan team. It was more a motivational meeting, as in international cricket, coaches role is not so significant and Sarfraz just wanted to help the players. It worked wonders for the team and we started delivering good for the team. We had played good cricket and we should have played semi-finals, but run-rate factor had the last laugh.

“The team played as a unit and there was neither grouping nor any misunderstanding between the team and management. We were depending on England and New Zealand to lose matches, which they eventually did, but like I said, West Indies match was the difference between Pakistan and a place in the semi-final,” he said and added: “We know entire nation loves us, respects us and expects us to always deliver well for the country. We tried our best and we will try perform better in the upcoming assignments.”

When asked about his marriage, Imad said: “When I decide to marry, I will invite all of you as well. We have tried to play positive cricket and did our level best. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep momentum with the run-rate, which mattered the most in the end. My favourite team to lift the world cup is England, as they are playing very good cricket and I feel they have fair chances of lifting the coveted trophy,” Imad concluded.

When Shadab was asked about his fitness, he said: “Obviously, it is not easy to come straight into the team and start to deliver, but by the grace of Almighty, I did my level best and tried to give my 100 percent.

“As far as my favourite team to lift the world cup is concerned, I think Australia will retain the title, as they are playing well. It hurts that we failed to win the world cup, like our PM Imran Khan did it for the country in 1992. We tried to follow his footsteps but unfortunately, things didn’t go in our way.

I feel we are satisfied with our performances and try to do well in the future,” Shadab concluded.