“I told Shoaib Malik to retire as well as I knew he will not be respected”- Mohammad Hafeez

Hafeez also slammed PCB selectors for ignoring Malik for T20 World Cup 2022.

Shoaib Malik | Getty

Former Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez isn’t happy that seasoned batter Shoaib Malik wasn’t named in the T20 World Cup squad. After not getting picked for the Asia Cup 2022 in August, Malik also couldn’t make the cut to the national squad for the T20 World Cup to be played in October in Australia.

Hafeez praised Mailk for playing at the highest level for more than 20 years while maintaining high levels of fitness.

The former captain went on to say that because he knew Malik, 40, wouldn't be a part of the national team setup, he had advised Malik to retire from international cricket after the 50-over World Cup in 2019.

“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 Cricket Pakistan channel.

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“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 was also evident in my case. My understanding was that he wanted one last standing but cricket is cruel like this,” he revealed.

“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 stated.

Hafeez maintained that a team needs players who can win matches irrespective of their age.

“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.

He criticized Pakistan's batters, Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah, for being one-dimensional players and questioned whether the middle order would be able to win the game if the top three batters failed to make an impact in a high-pressure game.

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“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.” 

“Khushdil and Asif do not rely on innings building and they are very one-dimensional players. Khushdil has a strike rate (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.”

The Men in Green will next take on England in a 7-match T20I series at home starting September 20th.



By Abhishek Ghan - 19 Sep, 2022

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