“Priority is Pakistan”: Hafeez asks contracted players to prioritise national duty over franchise leagues

Pakistan's performance wasn't up to the mark in the Asia Cup and the World Cup.

Mohammad Hafeez | GettyTeam director Mohammad Hafeez has asked Pakistan's contracted players to prioritise national team duty over franchise cricket.

His statement came after Haris Rauf decided to opt out of Pakistan's Test tour of Australia.

Instead, the right-arm quick is waiting to receive NOC from the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to join the Melbourne Stars in Australia's Big Bash League.

"All centrally contracted and domestic contracted players, for all of them, the priority is Pakistan. The point of offering it (contract) to the 20-25 players ... is to make sure they are available to play," Hafeez told reporters on Tuesday (November 28).

"Now there is a parallel option in the form of leagues and we experienced this in the Asia Cup and World Cup.

"There was talk of fatigue, or players were getting injured because their workloads were too much, or not performing as they should," he added.

Hafeez is part of a new team management that was formed after Pakistan endured a dismal World Cup 2023 campaign in India. The Men in Green failed to qualify for the semi-final after losing five out of their nine league matches.

Hafeez said the board would take into account the players' workload ahead of next year's T20 World Cup before giving them a 'No Objection Certificate' to take part in franchise leagues.

"Moving towards the T20 World Cup, the NOC policy will be based on what Pakistan needs," he remarked.

"If Pakistan need fit players, we need to make sure of their workloads. The maximum energy and availability has to be to Pakistan.

"If there is an opportunity around that, that they can play (in leagues), that will be definitely considered."

(With Reuters Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 29 Nov, 2023

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