“Mohammad Hafeez is very upset, might not play T20 World Cup” - Kamran Akmal

Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. Pic: Getty Images
Veteran Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez. Pic: Getty Images

Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batter Kamran Akmal feels that an upset Mohammad Hafeez could announce his international retirement before the T20 World Cup.

As per reports, Hafeez was ordered to return early from the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) despite being granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC) until September 18 for the T20 tournament.

In an interaction on his YouTube channel, Akmal hit out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over their mistreatment of a senior player like Hafeez. Pointing out that this is not the first time Hafeez has been treated in an unfair manner, Akmal said:

“I haven’t spoken to Mohammad Hafeez but I think he is very upset and might not play the T20 World Cup. Unless the PCB pampers him, he could announce his retirement before the World Cup. He seems totally frustrated. You cannot treat an experienced player in such a manner.”

Lashing out at the PCB, Akmal added that such instances would only harm the image of Pakistani cricket. He further pointed out:

“This is wrong. And I am talking not only about Hafeez but about Pakistan cricket as whole. It harms the reputation of our country as a cricketing nation. This has happened with me as well. What has happened with Hafeez is totally wrong. You have given the NOC. Think about how expensive the flights are due to COVID, then they have to stay in bio-bubbles as well.”

Akmal also urged new PCB chairman Ramiz Raja to urgently address the matter, keeping aside the personal differences between him and Hafeez.

Akmal said in this regard:

“Ramiz Raja will be really disappointed with how players were being treated. Hafeez has every right to be unhappy. Ramiz (bhai) knows the value of players and franchise leagues. He should support Hafeez. Whatever personal issues there are between Ramiz and Hafeez is a different matter altogether. Being a professional and PCB chairman, Ramiz must look into the issue and ensure such things do not happen in the future.”

In an interview last year, Hafeez claimed that his 12-year-old son has better game awareness than Ramiz Raja. The all-rounder was responding to Raja’s comments on Pakistan’s reliance on ‘overage’ cricketers.

Why Mohammad Hafeez is unhappy with the PCB

As per reports in Pakistani media, the PCB had granted Pakistani players, including Hafeez, a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for CPL till September 18. However, the board recently asked players to report for the New Zealand series on September 16.

Hafeez requested top PCB officials, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan and Director International Cricket Zakir Khan, to let him return after the end of the CPL, on September 17. The request was, however, denied.

In the meantime, it was revealed that all-rounder Imad Wasim, who is also part of CPL, has been given relief and can report for national duty by September 17. Apparently, CPL’s Chief Executive Officer, Pete Russell, had requested Imad’s presence and hence he was allowed to stay back.

Hafeez is likely to open up about his issues with the PCB in a press conference soon.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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