Sports

Do we really need a Hafeez in the ODI side!

Written by Omair Alavi

He retired during an ongoing Test match against New Zealand that was evenly poised until that moment; he can’t take a wicket to save his place in the side and has become a habitual dropper when it comes to catching, especially if Mohammad Amir is bowling. So somebody should please tell me why Mohammad Hafeez should be part of the Pakistani side in limited overs internationals when he has nothing to offer at all. Here are the reasons why he should retire as an international player and let someone better represent Pakistan.

He was never a team player

A player who wastes the team’s limited reviews while batting, be it in Tests or ODIs, openly criticizes the selection of others in the side, engineer’s ouster of other all-rounders in the reckoning, whose catching of late reminds one of Kamran Akmal, whose batting brings Ijaz Ahmed’s memories alive and whose bowling is as good as Saeed Ajmal’s after his return to the national side, should not be in Pakistan’s dressing room. Time and again he has proved to be a selfish player, especially while batting because the rate at which he takes reviews on his lazy dismissals doesn’t match the escapes he earns from them.

He is neither Misbah nor Younis

You hardly needed to worry when either Misbah-ul-Haq or Younis Khan or both were at the crease as they played with passion and became better batsmen with age; Hafeez, on the other hand, scored a century in his comeback Test and then remained clueless throughout the summer on batting wickets and against bowlers who were neither Dale Steyn nor Vernon Philander. He failed to become a reliable batsman with age and there is no possibility of him getting any better, especially against world-class fast bowlers he might face in South Africa.

No more a reliable fielder

“Mohammad Amir comes in, the batsman edges the ball to the slips … and Mohammad Hafeez drops a sitter” became a regular thing on the fast bowler’s return to the international side after serving a five-year suspension from the game. Considering we didn’t groom any fast bowler during that time and how important Amir’s return was, dropping catches off his bowling just because you didn’t agree with his comeback is exactly the kind of mindset that we need to bury six feet under. Since he is no longer a youngster with good reflexes, Hafeez is more of a liability than a reliable hand in the field, someone we don’t need at all.

Mohammad Hafeez 2.0 is a no-no!

And finally, something about his right-arm-off-spin bowling; the last time he took four wickets in an innings was when Barack Obama was the President of the United States, the now-retired Azhar Ali was the skipper of the Pakistan side and Rahat Ali was considered a fast bowler with potential. Since that day in July 2015, he hasn’t taken more than two wickets in a match; many would blame his remodeled bowling action for that but he has played more than 20 matches as an all-rounder since being cleared by the ICC. If Mohammad Amir can be dropped for his “average” bowling performance — although it won Pakistan matches — why can’t Mohammad Hafeez be left out? The sooner Hafeez realises that he is a lost cause when it comes to international cricket the better for Pakistan. It’s time we entered Naya Pakistan with Naya players.

About the author

Omair Alavi