Updated February 19th, 2024 at 16:29 IST

'You are not the whole team': Hafeez reveals secrets from stint as Pakistan cricket director

Mohammad Hafeez recently divulged insider information during an interview with a local news channel in Pakistan.

Reported by: Vishal Tiwari
Mohammad Hafeez | Image:PCB
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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) often finds itself making headlines for all the wrong reasons, and this time it involves former team director Mohammad Hafeez. The former cricketer, now a coach, recently divulged insider information during an interview with a local news channel in Pakistan. Unfortunately, such occurrences are not uncommon in Pakistani cricket circles. The PCB has faced criticism for its lack of professionalism in recent years, with controversies following the departure of every chairman.

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Former Pakistan cricket director reveals deep secrets about the team

Former Pakistan team director, Mohammad Hafeez, recently disclosed that he advised Babar Azam to adjust his role according to the team's needs during the T20I series against New Zealand. Speaking on a local sports channel, Mohammad Hafeez mentioned that he reminded both Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan about the importance of collective team effort, emphasizing that it's not just about individual performances.

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"It took me approximately two months to persuade Babar Azam that his contributions are crucial for Pakistan, and he's not the only player on the team. While he's undeniably a phenomenal cricketer, it's essential to prioritize the development of the Pakistan team. You and Rizwan are very good players, excellent players but you are not the whole team. I urged him (Babar) to transition to batting at number 3, considering his successful track record in ODI cricket spanning six years. This shift wouldn't disrupt his game technically, given his solid skills," Mohammad Hafeez explained.

"I'm grateful that Babar embraced this adjustment and played for Pakistan at number 3, which, in my opinion, is the optimal direction for our team," he added.

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While Babar Azam had been opening the T20 matches with Rizwan for over two years, Hafeez suggested a change in strategy. He proposed that Babar bat at number three instead, a position where he has excelled in One-Day matches. As per Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam embraced his suggestion and moved down the batting order.

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Babar Azam was the captain of the Pakistan cricket team across all formats until last year, when he was asked to step down following a lackluster ODI World Cup 2023 campaign. Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shan Masood replaced Babar as the captain of the team in T20Is and Tests respectively. The ODI captaincy spot is currently vacant. 

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Published February 19th, 2024 at 16:29 IST