Inzamam-ul-Haq, Pakistan Chief Selector, insisted that Mohammad Hafeez is a big part of Pakistan's 2019 World Cup plans despite axing him for the Asia Cup 2018 slated to be played in the UAE from September 15.
On Tuesday (4 September), Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the preliminary 18-member squad for the Asia Cup 2018 which is scheduled to start from 15 September in the UAE. The most noticeable exclusions from the Asia Cup squad was Hafeez and Imad Wasim. Imad on his part was dropped after he failed to clear the Yo-Yo Test.
The 37-year-old all-rounder was part of Pakistan's squads that recently played limited-overs series in Zimbabwe but did not feature in the playing XI of any of the five ODIs. Reportedly, Hafeez was to be played in the final ODI, but he refused to be a part of the playing XI for the game.
Recently, the all-rounder was in news after he initially refused to sign a central contract with PCB after being demoted to 'B' category, but Inzamam said none of that played any role in his axing from the Asia Cup squad, saying "there's no specific reason to drop Hafeez" and the selection committee is "trying other options".
As per reports in Cricbuzz, Inzamam said, “Hafeez is a part of the 20-22 players that we are considering for the World Cup. Hafeez is a good player and now he can bowl as well. But, we have other options now. There is much more cricket after the Asia Cup. At this moment, we are trying other options.”
Pakistan will begin their Asia Cup campaign on September 16 against either UAE or Hong Kong.