Mohammad Hafeez’s induction into the Pakistan’s squad for New Zealand tour has led to a rift between the all-rounder and cricketer-turned-commentator Ramiz Raja. The war of words got intensified after Hafeez stated that his 12-year-old son has better game awareness than Raja.
The episode began after Ramiz Raja showed disinterest over Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) backing experienced players and not giving enough chances to the youth ahead of the upcoming men’s T20 World Cup in India.
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The former Pakistan cricketer asked senior cricketers like Hafeez to retire gracefully and give opportunity to the youngsters to showcase their skills on a stage like the upcoming World Cup.
Disagreeing to Raja’s views, Hafeez gave a controversial statement during a conversation with Cricket Pakistan.
“I acknowledge Ramiz [Raja] services for Pakistan cricket as a player. I respect his opinion but I have reservations over his cricketing sense and game awareness. If you talk to my 12-year-old son, even his game awareness is better than Ramiz bhai,” Hafeez told Cricket Pakistan.
“If Ramiz bhai wants to continue saying such things to boost his YouTube channel, then I can’t stop him but I will continue to play for Pakistan as long as I’m fit and performing,” he further added.
Hafeez asserted that as long as he is fit and performing on the field, he deserves a place in the Pakistan dressing room.
“If I’m unable to meet the fitness and performance standards, or believe there is a better product ready for Pakistan, I’d happily leave. I’m very satisfied with my cricketing career,” Mohammad Hafeez said.
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Hafeez has been in a rich vein of form recently. He was adjudged as the man of the series in the T20I rubber against England, held in September earlier this year. He scored 155 runs in three matches at a strike-rate of 176.14.
In the recently concluded season of the Pakistan Super League, Hafeez was the mainstay for Lahore Qalandars in their run to the final.