Here’s why Mohammad Hafeez was dropped and Asif Ali picked, Pakistan chief selector Mohammad Wasim reveals the reason

Mohammad Wasim said here's why Mohammad Hafeez was dropped for the T20 series against South Africa and Asif Ali picked

Mohammad Wasim: “Hafeez is in prolific form and he would have been part of the squad if he was available. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to join the bio-bubble [due to his participation in the T10 League] by February 3”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Pakistan chief selector Mohammad Wasim has revealed that big-hitter Mohammad Hafeez was not picked for the upcoming T20 series against South Africa since “he won’t be able to join the bio-bubble” on February 3.

Hafeez is currently featuring for the Maratha Arabians in the T10 League in Abu Dhabi, but won’t return to Pakistan in time to be part of the bio-secure bubble ahead of the three-match series against the Proteas.

However, power-hitter Asif Ali was picked for the series, even though he is also playing in the T10 League.

Wasim confirmed that Asif, who is playing for the Qalandars in the tournament, has agreed to join the bio-secure bubble by February 3.

“Hafeez is in prolific form and he would have been part of the squad if he was available. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to join the bio-bubble [due to his participation in the T10 League] by February 3 which is why we have not considered him for the series. Following the Covid-19 protocols is mandatory for everyone involved,” Wasim was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.

“Asif Ali is also playing T10 League but he has agreed to join the bubble by February 3.”

Hafeez accumulated 140 runs in the three-match T20 series against New Zealand, which included a career-best score of 99 not out, at an average of 70 and a strike-rate of 160.91.

He also ended 2020 as the highest run-scorer in T20 Internationals with 415 runs in 10 games, which includes four fifties, at an average of 83 and a strike-rate of 152.57.

As for Asif, he last played a T20 International in November 2019.

The T20 series between Pakistan and South Africa gets underway on February 11, with all three matches being held in Lahore.

Pakistan squad for T20 series against South Africa: Babar Azam (c), Aamer Yamin, Amad Butt, Asif Ali, Danish Aziz, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Qadir, Zafar Gohar and Zahid Mehmood.

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