'Let's not point fingers': Babar Azam calls for positivity in heartening dressing-room speech after T20 World Cup exit
Captain Babar Azam called for positivity urging teammates not to point fingers at one another, but to lift each other's spirit after the loss against Australia
Amid all the negative talks pertaining to the dropped catch from Hasan Ali moments after Pakistan's T20 World Cup exit from semi-final, following five-wicket defeat to Australia in Dubai on Thursday, captain Babar Azam called for positivity urging teammates not to point fingers at one another, but to lift each other's spirit after the loss.
Pakistan were the only team to script an unbeaten run in the Super 12 stage of the tournament, which included win against India by 10 wickets and against New Zealand by five wickets. And on Thursday night, the 2009 champions were very much in control of the proceedings until a blazing 81-run unbroken stand between Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis dismantled their hopes of reaching a third final in T20 World Cup.
Addressing his team after the loss, Babar, as seen in the video uploaded by Pakistan cricket's official Twitter handle, urged his teammates to learn from the defeat rather than blame individuals and maintain the strong bond that they have developed as a unit.
"We are all in pain and grieved by where we went wrong and where we could've done better. No one will tell us as we already know it. But we have to learn from it and we can't let this loss break us as a unit. I'm requesting not point fingers at any individual as we as a team, didn't perform well," he said.
"We did lose, but we will learn from this and bounce back. We have to ensure we don't repeat these mistakes moving forward and let's maintain this bond amongst ourselves because this is a result of our hard work," he added.
Babar also thanked his teammates for creating a good dressing room atmosphere and putting in their best efforts during the tournament.
"It is difficult to create such a connection; hence, let's get through this defeat together. As captain, I back every player and I'm thankful to all of you for responding well to me and fostering a good dressing room atmosphere. Everyone has given their everything and taken responsibility and it's what is required from a team. Efforts are within our control and we will put it; however, results are not in our hands. Results will follow if a side gives its maximum effort."
"Hence, please don't drop your shoulders and I know everyone is grieving. It's only a matter of time and think about where we could've gone better. Please support each other and these are times where everyone must pick each other up. I urge you not to talk about anyone negatively and forge a positive environment by backing one another and enjoying. Let's learn from this and the more quickly we move on from this loss, the better."
Following Babar's speech, batting coach Matthew Hayden and bowling coach Vernon Philander too praised the Pakistan side for their impressive show in the T20 World Cup.