Waqar apologises for early exit, offers to resign

LAHORE: Pakistan’s head coach Waqar Younis Tuesday begged forgiveness from the nation and said he was prepared to resign after his team was knocked out of the World Twenty20 at the group stage.

The 2009 champions have been widely blasted by fans following a lacklustre performance with just one victory against lowly ranked Bangladesh and big losses to India, New Zealand and Australia.

Team members were jeered on their return this weekend by huge crowds at Lahore airport, who chanted “Shame! Shame!”

Addressing a press conference at the Pakistan Cricket Board headquarters in Lahore on Tuesday, Younis said: “I place my hands together and beg forgiveness from the nation.”

The fast-bowling legend, who was hired as head coach for a second time in 2014 and whose contract is due to expire in May, added that he was prepared to stand down if it was in the team’s best interest, but stopped short of offering his resignation.

“If my leaving makes things better, then I would do it without delay,” he said.

He also echoed calls made last week for a revamp of the country’s domestic structure, and added that the malaise stemmed from Pakistan’s lack of home games since 2009 militant attacks on the Sri Lankan team.

“When there is no cricket at home then the foundation will for sure become weak,” he said.

Pakistan’s early exit prompted a wave of criticism in the cricket mad country, with veterans like Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik singled out in particular.

Afridi is expected to make a decision about his future very soon.

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