Pakistan Out Of T20 World Cup: Imad Wasim Says PAK 'At Lowest Point', Need Change

Fans are disappointed with Pakistan's early exit from the 2024 T20 World Cup, but more disheartended is the team itself, and particularly Imad Wasim, who came out of his retiremnt to play in the ongoing marquee event, yet managed only two runs off three balls bowled by Hardik Pandya in the crucial India vs Pakistan match in New York

(AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz)
Pakistan's Imad Wasim runs to take his fielding position during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in Westbury, New York, Sunday, June 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz)

The 2009 T20 World champions, two times runners up, a powerhouse of the last decade, Pakistan criket team, after all that they were, they are now only an eliminated team in the 2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup. And, this is the point where the team, "can't get any lower" according to Imad Wasim, one of the star players who failed to shine as bright as was expected. (Full Coverage | More Cricket News)

Pakistan led by Babar Azam, with only 2 points from 3 matches could not qualify for the Super Eights and this remians their lowest finish in the T20 World Cup history. Fans are disappointed, but more disheartended is the team itself, and particularly Wasim, who came out of his retiremnt to play in the ongoing marquee event, yet managed only two runs off three balls bowled by Hardik Pandya in the crucial India vs Pakistan match in New York.

After losing their opeining match at the hands of the newcomers United States of America and then against arch rivals India, the former champions Pakistan, was surrounded by the 'what is this? what is happening? why is happening?' questions. And now of all the people, Imad Wasim himself is here to address it all. In a purely practical sense of matter, the two reasons behind the downfall of Pakistan in the 2024 T20 World Cup are 'FEAR' and 'MINDSET'.

Ahead of their last league match set against Ireland for today (June 16, Sunday) at 8:00 PM IST in Lauderhill (most likely be affected by rain) in a press conference, the 35-year old said, "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. 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."

He continued, "The problem is our team is so good, our players are so good, that we are good enough to play any kind of cricket. We haven't tried that but the thing is you have to try that, you have to get rid of the fear of failure. In everything - batting, bowling, fielding, you have to get rid of fear of failure. Personnel change doesn't change anything, just changing the mindset can change a lot of things. The same ball can be hit for a six, a four, a single, and that same ball can take a wicket and a be dot ball.

Pakistan Moved Back In Time, In T20 Cricket

"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. Maybe our mindset - in all three areas [batting, bowling and fielding]. I won't say any one area. If you change the mind of the player, you can achieve things beyond your limits. I always believe in this. You can talk a lot, but it is what it is - today, we are out of the tournament and whatever happens in the next World Cup, whoever plays, however they play, I think if we go with the right approach, the results will be better for us."

Returning from retirement holding a good record in cricket from the past, he carried hope on his shoulders. However, when the reports questioning his fitness for play was brought into lights, it was found that, that isn't the focus here.

"Me personally and our team, including me, are very disappointed and sad," he said. "And the whole public is sad that we didn't perform well and believes we are guilty. We are more disappointed than you are. This is our profession after all. But I would also like to say that we are human beings, we can make mistakes and we also get affected by these things."

Now, the question whether Imad Wasim will continue playing after this World Cup remains unanswered, as the left-handed all-rounder himself is unsure about it. But, he concluded his statements on a positve note because nobody knows how this failure could be "big for Pakistan" and it could serves as the turning point, kind of a lesson for the team, prompting them to regroup, revamp and comeback stronger next time.

Imad Wasim announced his retiremnt in November 2023, from all forms of cricket. However, in March 2024, to answer the nation's call he withdrew his retirement and came to play in the T20 World Cup, a cricket format where he is known as a specialist.