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Former Pakistan all-rounder Yasir Arafat has questioned the national team’s decision to leave all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez out of the Asia Cup squad.
Arafat pointed out that Hafeez would have been extremely useful during the tournament as he would have been able to contribute with both the bat and ball.
Furthermore, he said the veteran all-rounder would have given the national team a “definite edge” in the clash against India on September 19.
“The only talking point about this selection revolves around the non-selection of Mohammad Hafeez,” Arafat wrote in his blog for PakPassion. “There seems to have been a lot said about his exclusion and even the player himself had to come out and speak to the media about this subject as well.
“In no way am I second-guessing the selection committee on the inclusion of Shan Masood who has been picked on the back of some solid List A performances but my concern is that given the short period of time left before the 2019 World Cup, would it not have been better to carry on with Mohammad Hafeez in the team given his experience and the fact that he is bowling again?
“He would have been ideal for UAE conditions and also would have provided much needed experience for the team and having Hafeez in the team would have given Pakistan a definite edge going into a big game like the one against India.”
Arafat admitted that he was at a loss of words to explain why Hafeez had been dropped, and conceded that the 37-year-old should be treated with more respect.
“To be honest, I am not quite sure why Hafeez has been sidelined in this fashion,” he wrote. “Ideally, when a decision is made to discard a senior player like Hafeez, the reasons for that are clearly explained to the player such as the fact that the team did not need an extra batsman, or his bowling was not what is needed at the moment.
“This is the job of the coach and management and what one does not expect is for players to be chosen or dropped based upon discussion in the media which seems to be a common theme in Pakistan cricket. The communication gap caused by this kind of treatment of players results in them approaching the media as we have seen in the case of Hafeez.
“This is a centrally contracted player and he needs to be treated better and if anyone has any doubts about his commitment, we should consider the fact that he recently rejected a proposal to play in the CPL so that he could play domestic games, with the obvious aim to perform well and get the nod of the national selectors.
“If he is still discarded even after performing well in domestic cricket, then I would suggest that this will be unfair on him or any other player in the same position.”