Hafeez vows to set an example for his side as a veteran batsman
Pakistan’s newly appointed Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez, feels as if the national team’s upcoming tour against Sri Lanka will be a challenging one.
Hafeez, believes the series will be tough because the national team players have not played any international cricket since their series against England, which was hosted in the UAE earlier in the year.
“My concern is that we last played an international series against England in February and since then we have focussed on domestic cricket events,” Hafeez said.
The new Twenty20 captain also thinks that the Sri Lankans will have an advantage over the Pakistan players, since they have played in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“But in comparison, players from other international teams are taking part in the IPL particularly the Sri Lankan players and that means they have a slight edge over us. If you compare the whole world with us, everyone is there in the IPL getting practice in intense scenarios and enhancing their skills, but our players are missing out on that opportunity,” he said.
Hafeez, also noted that a conditioning camp had been set up for the national team in Lahore so that the players can be fit and ready for the challenging tour.
However Hafeez, did not take part in the national super eights Twenty20 event in Rawalpindi, even though most of his teammates on the national squad did.
Pakistan have selected newcomers Shakil Ansar, Reza Hasan and Haris Sohail to be part of the Twenty20 squad which will play against Sri Lanka, while veteran batsman like Khalid Latif and Ahmed Shahzad have also made a comeback into the squad for their impressive performances in the tournament.
Pakistan, played their last Twenty20 series against England earlier this year, and were whitewashed 3-0.
The national selectors, along with coach Dav Whatmore, have chosen a specialist group of players to lead Pakistan against Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 matches.
Even though the Sri Lanka tour is set to be a big challenge for the Pakistan team, Hafeez believes that this is a perfect opportunity for the younger players to make a name for themselves.
“Overall we have a new but exciting combination for the Twenty20 matches and it will be interesting to see how they adjust to the challenge ahead,” Hafeez said.
The newly appointed captain also noted that he would be leading his team from the front and also vowed to set an example for the younger players.
Furthermore, Hafeez stated that while Pakistan would miss the veteran batting of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, the team still had to move on and concentrate on winning the series.