Pakistan media is immature: Hafeez
Former Pakistan T20I captain, Mohammad Hafeez, who stepped down following his team's ouster from the 2014 T20 WC tournament, said some of the criticism levelled at him then were uncalled for.
After a disappointing 84-run defeat against the West Indies on April 1, Pakistan exited at the group stage in the 5th edition of the T20 WC, which took place in Bangladesh. It was the first time that the sub-continent team did not make it to the semi-final and Hafeez was criticized for some of the team's selection policies, which included picking players like Sohaib Malik and Kamran Akmal.
While mentioning that he did ask for the senior Akmal to be part of the set-up, Hafeez said he was not the only one who wanted Malik in the team. He also said he was not allowed to pick Raza Hasan.
"I wanted to select Raza Hasan, but was told that I couldn't select him due to non-cricketing reasons. I own up to pushing for Kamran Akmal's selection in the squad for the T20 WC. I was told that Shoaib Malik was in my T20 WC squad. It's wrong to say that I was solely responsible for picking him," Hafeez said in am interview with the Pakpassion website.
Hafeez was also critical of the Pakistan media, mentioning that they mostly made up stories rather than acting in a mature manner and doing their jobs responsibly.
"Some of our media are immature and misuse the platform that has been given to them. Media around the world back their players. Our media would rather come up with made up stories like Hafeez and Misbah had a fight," he said.
When asked about fixing, which has reared it's ugly head time and again in Pakistan cricket, Hafeez said he had suggested to the authorities to have strict measures in place. Hafeez added he was disappointed that most of Pakistan's losses were viewed with an eye of suspicion.
"When we win there is no mention of fixing. Yet when we lose, so many people say the match was fixed. I suggested to the PCB that any player that gives Pakistan cricket a bad name such as fixing should be banned for life."
Hafeez, who was dropped for the Test series against Sri Lanka in December-January, said he was baffled with the decision. "I was dropped for the Test vs SL earlier this year. Even though I was vice-captain nobody explained to me why I was dropped. I know I'm not the most talented cricketer in Pakistan but I'm one of the most hard working and committed."
"I have always promoted youngsters during my career as captain"
"I am afraid that Umar Amin, despite being given ample chances has not been able to justify his talent"
"Raza Hasan was not selected due to disciplinary reasons although I asked for him to be included"
"Some of our seniors who criticize me are unable to understand that I have taken decisions in Pakistan's interests - this is probably because they have never done this themselves!"
"In my view Kamran Akmal was the best talent that I could think of - someone who I asked for specifically for World T20"
"This would have alleviated the pressure on Umar Akmal and also Kamran's explosive style of batting was a positive"
"Shoaib Malik was given to me by the selectors for World T20"
"We needed a middle order experienced player as Umar Amin had already been discarded"
"Sharjeel Khan's explosive attitude was important although he hadn't performed that well"
"He has excellent attitude but his weakness would have been exposed sooner or later. Zaheer Abbas's view was important in the non-selection of Sharjeel"
"I still the own the decision to select the team that went to World T20 - this was the best team that could be selected"
"Umar Gul with 80% fitness is still an experienced bowler who would always have been valuable for Pakistan"
"Umar Gul was also bowling really well in the warmups for World T20"
"We dropped Junaid Khan due to necessity of the game strategy - no other reason"
"Junaid, Talha and Bilawal Bhatti were all good players so there is nothing against them if they were dropped"
"Bilawal Bhatti's talent is one that can serve Pakistan for next 10 years"
"We always briefed the players who were dropped to explain why this was happening"
"All controversy around me seems to have stopped the moment I stepped down as captain!"
"Our media is immature in it's analysis of cricketers and cricket"
"They are certain people and players - who I can only hope will be shown the right path by the Almighty - that's all I can say about some of these people"
"It was my own decision to relinquish captaincy"
"It's upto Najam Sethi to appoint next captain - I asked him to decide in the coming 4 months as to who can lead Pakistan in the best manner"
"Not everyone is suitable to be made captain - this will be up to Najam Sethi and its our job to support the next captain to lead Pakistan in future victories"
"Central contract should contain a clause which says that any player who is involved in any corruption should never play for Pakistan again - I will be the first one to sign that document!"
"As a vice-captain in ODI - no one really listened to me so don't ask me about Younis Khan's non-inclusion in ODI squad"
"People who are political experts are talking for 2 hours on TV about cricket as if they know the game!?"
"I was very disappointed by the reaction of the public after loss in World T20"
"If people say I am afraid of Steyn then we can also say that Gayle is scared of me!"
"I will be the first one to say that I did not play well against South Africa"
"I have no idea why I was dropped in Sharjah, even after making a comeback in the Test matches - although even as a vice-captain, I wasn't told the reason why that happened"
"I feel I can serve Pakistan in the long term - I am working on my technical deficiencies and hope to overcome them soon"
"I feel extremely honoured that I have been able to represent Pakistan"
"I don't rate myself in terms of talent as there are many more talented players than me - but in terms of commitment and hardwork, I think I am doing really well"
"My only regret in life is that I won't make a good actor!"