Mohammad Hafeez, former Pakistan captain and veteran all-rounder, has revealed that he will wait for the T20 World Cup- even if it takes place next year in India- before he hangs up his boots.
The International Cricket Council is yet to decide on the future of this year’s T20 World Cup, which is set to take place in Australia later this year. Hafeez, however, has made it clear that his dream is to win the T20 World Cup for Pakistan and he will not retire until the quadrennial event takes place.
“My plan was to retire after the T20 World Cup. I have always lived up to the (fitness) requirements needed to be in the team. I will wait for the T20 World Cup to take place and I will keep myself fit and ready to perform,” Hafeez told reporters during a video conference.
“I will step aside. But yes I will be available even if the T20 World Cup is postponed. I am fit. My dream is to win a World Cup for Pakistan and then quit,” added the 39-year-old.
Earlier this year, Hafeez was one of the four cricketers including Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, and Shoaib Malik but chief selector cum coach Misbah Ul Haq has maintained that the all-rounder remains a part of their plans.
‘I don’t play cricket on the basis of what others say’- Mohammad Hafeez
When asked about his opinion on the views expressed by former cricketer-turned commentator Ramiz Raja, who has been calling for him and Shoaib Malik to step aside, Hafeez said that he doesn’t play cricket on the basis of what other’s say.
“He is entitled to his opinion. I don’t play cricket on the basis of what others say. I will not leave cricket on the basis of what others say. I hope to continue to serve Pakistan. So my career, my wish.” reckoned Mohammad Hafeez
Hafeez also gave his take on ICC’s decision to ban the use of saliva. According to the veteran all-rounder, it is a small sacrifice that everyone has to make for cricket to come back in such circumstances.
“Life is a challenge. Personally I feel cricket resuming gives me greater joy and for that I am willing to neglect small changes in rule. It will be back and it is a temporary change I feel. I have been injured a lot of times and I managed to come back. So it’s similar. We need to sacrifice for the game to continue and we need to be ready to do it,” said Hafeez.
Mohammad Hafeez, who was recently named in the 29-member squad for the Test and T20I series against England, hoped that he will not be required for the Test matches. However, he added that if the situation does arise, he will be the first one to put his hand up for the team.
“All these players will go and return in one flight. There cannot be any replacement keeping safety in mind. I hope the situation does not arise where I have to play Test cricket again. But I will always put my hand up if the team needs me,” concluded Mohammad Hafeez.