Defiant Waqar not to quit, Inzy steps down as vice-captain
Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2003, 0:10 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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Lahore: Embattled Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis refused to quit following his side's cricket World Cup debacle here Monday but Inzamam-ul-Haq stepped down as vice- captain. "We are ashamed on our bad performance and know that the nation is very much disappointed. So we seek pardon from the nation," Waqar said at a press conference called to explain Pakistan's first round exit in South Africa. "The overall performance was poor, our bowling and our batting was not up to the mark," he added. Manager Shaharyar Khan and other players took part in the conference at the Qaddafi Stadium. Waqar denied reports of "indiscipline" in the team, saying that the players had tried their best only to be undone by "bad luck and misfortune." He said he was fit and would continue playing the international cricket. "I am not retiring from international cricket. I am quite fit to play cricket more and will play cricket as long as I am fit." Inzamam however resigned saying that his responsibility as vice captain contributed to his bad performance. "I am resigning from the office of vice-captain of the team as this responsibility might be one of the reasons for my bad performance. "When I will be having no burden of responsibility, I hope I will be batting and performing well next time," the visibly dejected veteran batsman said. Pakistani players returned home to an unceremonial welcome over the weekend. In its six games in South Africa, Pakistan lost to Australia, England and India, suffered a washout in Zimbabwe and managed just two wins against minnows the Netherlands and Namibia. It was the country's worst ever World Cup performance in the 28-year history of the tournament. Angry mobs in Karachi and Lahore, burned effigies of pace bowler Wasim Akram and Waqar to register their anger. Manager Khan, a seasoned former diplomat, spent most of the time defending the players. Denying reports of internal bickering he said, "The players fully observed discipline and unity. It is wrong to say that the team lacked discipline."