T20 World Cup 2024: 'Can't go any lower than this,' says Imad Wasim after Pakistan knocked out in group stage

Once in a while, though, a press conference worth studying comes around. This is one of them. This is Imad Wasim at his vulnerable best.
Last Updated : 15 June 2024, 23:36 IST

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Lauderhill: Typically, press conferences in the new era are a futile exercise, one which yields several versions of ‘control the controllable’ and statements in the ballpark of redundant, if not entirely ignorable.

Take Saturday and Vikram Rathour’s press address for instance. He said the same things he has since he took over as India’s batting coach a few years ago. Nothing from the conference offered anything worth precious column space. 

Once in a while, though, a press conference worth studying comes around. This is one of them. This is Imad Wasim at his vulnerable best. That he chose to do this at a time when the whole of Pakistan’s fanbase is villainising him is brave. 

A bit of it might have to do with the fact that he has very little skin in the game for the 35-year-old is mostly done with his career. And yet, watching him being accountable for his actions, being optimistic for Pakistan’s future, and being honest about their failings as a team was refreshing. 


On Pakistan’s upcoming inconsequential game against Ireland

Look, I know we're out of the tournament and it's hard for the players but in the end, this is an international game, a World Cup game so we won't take anything lightly. We will go out there and play for the country and play for the pride of our country which we already did but unfortunately the results we can't control it. Yeah, but we go out there and play like it's a World Cup game.

On Pakistan’s game against India

The game plan was to take the game deep. The wicket was not good to play. It was a little difficult. Unfortunately, my plan was going according to plan but not execution. Usually, when I bat, I take the ball deep. And if I hit any boundary on either end, the game would have been different. Usually, under pressure, bowlers give you a ball and there is a margin. But I think I was taking the game deep and I was hoping that a new batsman would come and for that, it is virtually impossible. But Naseem hit two good shots. That 17th over, I think, I feel that the lack of the runs in that over was a turning point. Unfortunately, it happened, it's an incident but it was a big game. Our team and I are more disappointed than you are. I let them down because usually when I go in this situation, I am very calm and finish the job. And this was my job to finish which I couldn't do. I will regret this and I still regret it. But this is life. Sometimes you make mistakes. But life is like that, sometimes you make mistakes. So, you can say that this was a phase in my life which I unfortunately could not achieve. I will regret it, but my execution was not good.

On your role in the loss

See, this is not in the hands of one or two people, it is teamwork. When you lose, you lose as a team. Like I said, I should have finished the game versus India. But the team loses - it's not just me. Individuals don't lose.

On retirement rumours

As far as retirement is concerned, there's a match tomorrow. We'll play a match. And, after that, we'll think about it and sort out whatever we need to. Because to be honest, a lot of things are going to be sorted out in the Pakistan team. The chairman and the board will sort it out. We have given away two games by ourselves. We have given away the match by ourselves not because of an individual, but collectively. There is no excuse for that. Losing to USA, well, losing is a part of the game, but we shouldn't have lost to USA. Even against India - we had that game in our hands and we shouldn't have lost. So, there is no excuse for anything. We are losing matches collectively. And I will tell you again that we never lose a match because of one or two individuals. Matches are lost because of the whole team. Whether someone does it well or not, that's why it's called team sport. After the match against Ireland, we will sit down and talk and then decide. I don't do anything secretly. I told everyone when retired last time - If something happens, I will come and tell everyone.

On rumours of body shaming Azam Khan

I used to be an analyst. I have always talked about cricket. I have never talked about it personally or to an individual or a person or done any body shaming. Cricketers have to do their job and analyse cricket. They have to tell you what is right and what is wrong. Of cricket, the way of cricket, the way we should play cricket. I think we should play the game, the way we should play the game where world cricket is going. 

On what needs to be fixed in Pakistan cricket

We sort out the way we should play the game, the way we should play, the way we should bring awareness, the way we should chase, approach, and field. All these things come into this. We will sit and sort out how to play way of cricket. And I think Pakistan cricket - it happens in group stages, but I don’t think Pakistan has ever been out this way. So, there is a lot of disappointment. We are more disappointed than you are. This is our profession. And we are disappointed. It is obvious. But, who knows, it could be a big thing for Pakistan cricket. Revamp it, revisit it and play it the way white-ball cricket should be played.

On the changes needed

It's not my domain to say anything here, but I think there should be changes and there should be a drastic change so we can move forward and fight with the world cricket how the cricket is playing. 

On where this ranks as a loss

This is the lowest point. You can't go any lower than this. That's the fact.

On why the campaign ended

It's, in my opinion, I'm giving my personal opinion: it's all your mindset. What mindset do you want to play the game with? You either play fire with fire, or you play your way. So, I personally believe that you should play fire with fire. And even if you lose, you can sit down and say to yourself that on that day we were not good enough. The problem is our team is so good, our players are so good that we are good enough to play any kind of cricket. So, we haven't tried that but the thing is you have to try that, you have to get rid of the fear of failure mindset. In everything - batting, bowling, fielding, you have to get rid of the fear of failure mindset. We compete with the world's best teams. Their mindset has changed over time. We used to rule in T20 cricket. I think we have moved back a little now.

Published 15 June 2024, 23:36 IST

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