Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Legendary Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar has lashed out at former head coach Mickey Arthur for questioning all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez’s commitment to Pakistan cricket.
Hafeez accused Arthur of “double standards and favouritism” during the three years he was in charge of the national team.
“I think Mickey Arthur was the most powerful coach in Pakistan cricket history. Everything went according to what he wanted. I will admit that there were double standards and favouritism while he was coaching the side,” Hafeez had said.
In response, Arthur said: “All I will say is that I liked players who could win games for Pakistan and were professional in all they did. I disliked players that sat in their comfort zones and felt Pakistan cricket owed them something.”
However, Akhtar was less than impressed with Arthur’s comments about Hafeez.
“Like, dislike are 100 percent part of it. Captains play their favorite players and they also play and win matches. I have seen this throughout my life. It’s not that they are just friends in the ground and they play for 6-7 years without performances, that doesn’t happen. There are only 1-2 cases like this. But Hafeez is right that likes and dislikes exist,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by PakPassion.
“For Mickey Arthur to say that your commitment to Pakistan isn’t there – bhaijaan he has been playing for 15 years for Pakistan. You came to Pakistan for 15-25 months. What right does he have to say Hafeez isn’t committed to his country? Mickey Arthur isn’t some legend or some high performance coach, he was just OK. He was a good manager, he knew how to handle people but to say who is committed and who isn’t committed, what is this?
“There is a career of 15 years for Pakistan and then there is a career of 10 years before that which requires you to grind and get to this stage. It’s not just based on talk, you have to go through a lot to play for Pakistan, not like today. There is a whole process. We hear a lot of things all for Pakistan. And to put all this away in one sentence and say you weren’t committed… was I wasting my time for 25 years?
“You came for 2-3 years and cleverly spent 2 years living off the Champions Trophy. Don’t come here and tell me I’m not committed to my country.
“Don’t suddenly jump on a person’s commitment unless he has done match-fixing or broken some laws due to which you have hurt the country. Discipline, likes and dislikes, these happen.
“There is no bigger manager than Jose Mourinho, he had so many likes and dislikes. A lot of players didn’t agree with him but played with him. If you decide that a player is good then write his name for the team. If you don’t think so then fine, but don’t bring your ego in the way.
“To wipe out 25 years of work in one go is unfair.”