‘Honest players’ like me were told to stay home: Mohammad Hafeez

On the 3rd of December, the Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez also known as the ‘Professor’ announced his retirement from international cricket. During the Press Conference, Hafeez pointed out the lowest moment of his career. The incident was related to Mohammad Amir.

In 2015, when Mohammad Amir returned to international cricket after serving his 5 match ban, senior duo Hafeez and then captain Azhar Ali refused to train alongside Mohammad Amir at the camp. The matter had to be intervened by then PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan who told the senior pro straightforward that if he doesn’t want to train alongside Amir, then he can stay at home. Mohammad Hafeez pointed that this incident hurt him a lot and said the honest players like him were told clearly to stay at home if they have problems.

Mohammad Amir was involved in the spot-fixing scandal in 2010 when deliberately bowled a no-ball. The ICC served an International ban on Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Asif. While Butt and Asif faced a lifelong ban, Amir was let off because of his young age as the bowler was only 17 years at that time.

Mohammad Hafeez stated in his press conference that a player who has brought shame to the nation should not be given the limelight and promoted. Hafeez and Ali ended the protest in 2015 and decided to play alongside Amir. Shaharyar Khan then said it is the responsibility of senior players to welcome back into the cricketing team.

Hafeez later said, “I have forgiven all who have damaged the integrity of Pakistan cricket through corruption but I, in principle, am against corruption and will keep holding this stance forever,” Hafeez said.”

I do respect their concerns but some of them, I told them, are not acceptable. It is now their responsibility – Azhar as captain and Hafeez as a senior player – to take him (Amir) like a family,”

Hafeez pointed out that the decision to retire was sole of him and that he was not pressurized directly or indirectly by the PCB to retire. The former cricketer said that he was contemplating playing in the 2023 World Cup but then thought that now is the right time to retire. Hafeez played three 50 over World cups in 2007, 2011, and 2019 and was a part of the 2017 Pakistani team that won the Champions Trophy against India where Amir picked crucial wickets. He was also part of the 2021 T20 team that defeated India for the first time in a world cup campaign.

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