Younis Khan believes Mohammad Hafeez deserves the same status in Pakistani cricket as greats like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis, and Misbah-ul-Haq did. The Pakistan batting coach talked about giving Hafeez a tremendous send-off once he decides to retire.
Mohammad Hafeez will miss the T20I series against South Africa as he was playing in the T10 League in the UAE. The Pakistani players had to enter the bio-bubble by February 3 for the T20I series, but Hafeez could not join by then. Younis Khan said the hosts would miss the 40-year-old against the Proteas.
"We would definitely miss him for the series against South Africa starting today (Thursday). Hafeez himself is the best judge in this regard. Once he decides on his retirement, we would be giving him a tremendous send-off. He deserves the same status that Inzamam, Younis, and Misbah received in the past. He has performed outstandingly so we will definitely miss him in the T20 series. He wants to play T20 World Cup or not, the decision rests with Hafeez now,” said Khan.
Hafeez had asked the Pakistan Cricket Board to increase the deadline to join the T20I squad for the South Africa series. However, the governing body didn't relent and the all-rounder had to miss out.
Ramiz Raja slams Mohammad Hafeez
Younis Khan may have reserved high praise for Mohammad Hafeez, but former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja recently slammed the all-rounder for not adhering to the bio-bubble deadline and termed him 'selfish'.
"Among those playing in T10 League, Asif Ali is coming but not Mohammad Hafeez because he doesn’t want to end his contract. This shows the level of thinking because, considering the situation, we should be prepared to follow the necessary protocols even if there are last-minute changes. One should think about Pakistan instead of being selfish because nobody will back you," said Raja
The 40-year-old starred with the bat in Pakistan's last T20I series in New Zealand. Hafeez scored 140 runs in three matches at a strike rate of 160.9.
But even in his absence, Pakistan will be confident of toppling South Africa in the three-match T20 series, especially after their historic win in the Test series.