Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Muhammad Hafeez has lashed out at the national selectors for ignoring seasoned allrounder Shoaib Malik for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. Hafeez said he had advised Malik to take retirement after last year’s World Cup as he knew they would no longer be part of the Pakistan team set-up.
“I don’t even know whether he will get a proper farewell now which he should, given his 22 years of international cricket. Because as things stand after his recent tweet where he highlighted friendships, liking and disliking in the team many are unhappy with him,” Hafeez told the CricketPakistan channel.
“Malik gave his best to Pakistan for about 21-22 years and maintaining your fitness standards for that long is absolutely remarkable. “When I took my retirement, I told Malik to take retirement as well because I knew that he will not be respected as it was also evident in my case. My understanding was that he wanted one last standing but cricket is cruel like this.” Hafeez said after the 2019 World Cup he had suggested to the management to give Malik a farewell game. “They didn’t entertain my suggestion at all not realizing his services he should have got a match. Our management has always been lacking when it comes to bidding them a farewell,” he maintained.
Hafeez said if Malik had played in the World Cup, the team would have got a senior player. “Don’t talk about that he cannot play cut or pull, don’t forget that he played cricket for 22 years so he didn’t play these shots? We need to understand; we need proper cricketers with whom we can make winning combination whether he is 40 or 20,” he said. Hafeez, who himself retired earlier this year from international cricket, described Pakistan’s selected batters, Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah as one dimensional players.
“There is so much dependence on the top three and I would advise Babar Azam and Muhammad Rizwan now to show more intent in their approach in coming matches,” he said. “I have said this before as well, Babar and Rizwan are the number one pair for Pakistan. They have helped Pakistan cricket win and grow. But if there is anything both players can improve upon; it is intent.” Hafeez further mentioned that Pakistan’s middle-order failed during the Asia Cup because players like Khushdil and Asif don’t rely on innings building.
“Khushdil and Asif do not rely on innings building and they are very one-dimensional players. Khushdil has a strikerate (SR) of 110 and we consider him an international hitter and that is not right. We need to get to the bottom of this situation,” he said. “We need to ask ourselves do these players have the ability to absorb pressure? Can they build an innings if Babar and Rizwan fall early? We have selected these players based on the fact that our top-order takes time to settle which is ridiculous.” .