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PCB CEO takes on Mohammad Hafeez

PCB chief executive officer, Wasim Khan, did not take kindly to Mohammad Hafeez’s opinion about tainted batsman Sharjeel Khan’s return to competitive cricket. Wasim Khan commented that Hafeez should be “focusing on his own cricket” instead of giving opinions in a reprimand for the veteran Pakistan cricketer.

Sharjeel was slapped a five-year ban by PCB for a corruption scandal in the PSL in 2017. This was suspended following an apology by the batsman in August 2019. He was soon enough back in the setup as Karachi Kings’ opener in the PSL and Mohammad Hafeez did not take this kindly. 

Hafeez took a dig at Sharjeel and PCB on Twitter when someone asked if he is physically fit enough to play international cricket. Hafeez replied – “Shouldn’t we set Standards of Dignity & Pride Higher than any other “Extra Talent” to represent Pakistan.”

Wasim Khan was miffed with this tweet and in a strongly worded reprimand througb video said, “Current players should not be going up on social media to criticise other players or talk about what policies the cricket board should or shouldn’t have. They can have their opinions about various things about world cricket and cricket in general but not about the rights and wrongs of players and the boards and they should leave that to cricket board to answer.

“I will be personally speaking to Mohammad Hafeez about that and I don’t think it’s his place to be doing it. No other player in the world does that so why should our Pakistani players do that? I don’t think they have any space to do that and I don’t think they should be doing that. That’s my personal view. Coming from an English environment, I never saw an English player tweet about policies, procedures, talking about other players’ right or wrong. My view is, he should focus on his own game, focus on the cricketing opinion he can give but don’t give personal opinion about other players.”

“He has done his time, whatever was set,” Wasim said. “He has carried out that ban. He is back and was picked up by a franchise and he is available to play again. In terms of him getting selected [for Pakistan] going forward, that is up to the selectors. There is a long way for Sharjeel Khan to go before he is considered to play for Pakistan again.”

“First of all, there is an importance around fitness. [Head coach] Misbah[-ul-Haq] had said that verbally and he is emphasising the policy on fitness with us as well and [bowling coach] Waqar [Younis] has also spoken about it as well, that we are moving in a different direction.

“One of the things Sharjeel Khan could have done in his time when he wasn’t playing and inactive is that he could have got himself fit. In your life, you have controllables and non-controllables. Fitness is controllable, what goes in you mouth, what you do, how you keep yourself fit, that is all under your control. If you are serious about playing for Pakistan, get yourself fit. There is no excuse.

“I am sorry but I am a stern believer that he turned up playing PSL unfit. He will not get selected for Pakistan as long as he stays the way he is. He now has a few months – get yourself fit, show that you have an ambition to play for Pakistan, show you have commitment and desire to get yourself fit and then you will be considered. I am sure Misbah and the selectors are looking it at that way – they have a policy and it’s important that people abide by that.”

Rohit Sankar is a freelance cricket journalist stuck in a love-hate live-in relationship with the game. To rile him up, mention the 1999 World Cup semi-final. Rohit has been writing about cricket for well over 10 years now, and has written for a variety of news and sports outlets over this time.

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