‘Players who fix matches and betray their country should never be allowed to play’: Mohammad Hafeez
On January 3, former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez announced his retirement from international cricket. Hafeez represented Pakistan in 55 Test matches, 218 ODIs, and 119 T20Is since making his debut in 2003. With 2514 runs at an average of 26.46, he finished as the second-highest run-scorer for Pakistan in T20Is.
While announcing his retirement, Hafeez said a number of things related to his time with Pakistan cricket and also advocated that players who commit acts of match-fixing and betray their country should never be allowed to play again.
“To me, the biggest disappointment and hurt of my career was when I and Azhar Ali took a principled stand on this issue, but we were told by the board chairman that if we don’t want to play, fine, but the concerned player will play,” Hafeez said during a media conference in Lahore.
After becoming the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief, Ramiz Raja had said that Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should have retired from international cricket after the 2019 World Cup. Hafeez made it clear that his retirement had nothing do to with what the PCB chief said.
“No I had started thinking about my retirement since the 2019 World Cup but my wife and some well-wishers convinced me to carry on. But I had started thinking about it since then. “As far as what Ramiz said or felt that is his opinion and I have always respected critics and my way has been to go out on the field and give reply to them. I have no hard feelings towards anyone on the board.”
Hafeez also mentioned that he was trying to meet the PCB chief since the 20-20 World Cup 2021. He finally met him on December 31 and told him about his plans to retire from international cricket.
“Ramiz said it was because he thought I wanted to speak about my category in the PSL and central contracts. But when I finally met him on 31st December I told him I just wanted to inform him about my decision to retire,” Hafeez said.