Kamran Akmal, Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman, believes that a disgruntled Mohammad Hafeez may declare his retirement from international cricket before the T20 World Cup.
According to sources, Hafeez was asked to leave the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) early despite receiving a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the T20 event till September 18.
Akmal slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for mistreating a seasoned player like Hafeez in a video on his YouTube channel. Akmal pointed out that this isn’t the first time Hafeez has been treated unfairly, saying:
“I haven’t spoken to Mohammad Hafeez but I think he is very upset and might not play the T20 World Cup. Unless the PCB pampers him, he could announce his retirement before the World Cup. He seems totally frustrated. You cannot treat an experienced player in such a manner.”
Taking aim at the PCB, Akmal remarked that such incidents will only tarnish Pakistani cricket’s image. Furthermore, he stated:
“This is incorrect. And I’m not just talking about Hafeez; I’m talking about Pakistan cricket as a whole. It tarnishes our country’s image as a cricketing nation. This has also happened to me. What happened to Hafeez is just unacceptable. The NOC has been given by you. Consider the cost of flights owing to COVID, and then add in the cost of staying in bio-bubbles.”
Apart from the personal problems between him and Hafeez, Akmal also urged new PCB chairman Ramiz Raja to address the issue immediately.
Akmal said in this regard:
“Ramiz Raja would be extremely dissatisfied with the way the players were treated. Hafeez is within his rights to be unhappy. Ramiz (bhai) understands how important players and franchise leagues are. He should show his support for Hafeez. Whatever personal concerns Ramiz and Hafeez may have are a separate story entirely. Ramiz, as a professional and chairman of the PCB, must investigate the matter and ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future.”
Hafeez said in an interview last year that his 12-year-old kid has a greater understanding of the game than Ramiz Raja. Raja’s remarks about Pakistan’s reliance on “overage” cricketers prompted the all-rounder to reply.
Why Mohammad Hafeez is unhappy with the PCB
According to reports in Pakistani media, Pakistani players, including Hafeez, have been granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the CPL until September 18. However, the board recently requested that players report on September 16 for the New Zealand series.
Hafeez has asked the PCB’s top officials, CEO Wasim Khan and Director International Cricket Zakir Khan, to allow him to return after the CPL concludes on September 17. However, the request was turned down.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Imad Wasim, who is also a member of CPL, has been allowed relief and will be able to report for national duty on September 17. Imad was apparently allowed to remain back because CPL’s Chief Executive Officer, Pete Russell, had requested his attendance.