The Sarfaraz Ahmed-led Pakistan team were left with a mixed feeling after they failed to make the semi-final of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. While they won four matches on the trot to end their league campaign, yet they could not book a place in the last four since they lost out in the net run-rate to New Zealand. The Pakistan World Cup squad was back home on Sunday and their players addressed a couple of press conferences.
One glaring aspect that came to attention was how the senior players in the squad performed in the tournament. Players like Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz, and Mohammad Hafeez were expected to take upon the mantle of leading from the front and inspire the youngsters in the team to do well. However, apart from Sarfaraz and Wahab, Malik and Hafeez failed to do anything of much significance.
Hafeez was under scanner the whole tournament, ever since he helped Pakistan make a grand comeback in the tournament after being bowled out for 105 against West Indies. He scored a valiant 34 in the victory over England team, as the Men in Green barely defended a total of 340 plus.
However, Professor, as he is called lovingly, managed just 235 runs overall in the tournament and couldn’t manage another fifty in the remaining matches. He fell for 9 against India and went for 11 runs in the only over he bowled. The 38-year-old was advised by former Pakistan coach Waqar Younis to retire from the game gracefully.
However, Hafeez has decided to ignore that advice and has intimidated the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) of his intentions of continuing to represent Pakistan in international cricket. As per reports from cricketpakistan.com.pk, sources revealed that Hafeez was not happy with his batting position in the team and wanted to open the innings against Bangladesh in their last league game, which was rejected by the team management.
He has informed them and the coaching staff that he is fit and ready to play for Pakistan and is also satisfied with his performances in recent times. He did blame his batting position for his inconsistency. The 38-year-old had already called time on his Test career in December in 2018 and informed the PCB that he will retire from ODIs, when he feels a better player is ready to replace him, which he doesn’t at the moment.