Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan batsman Saleem Malik believes the “PCB is doing a bit [of] injustice” with big-hitting all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez.
This comes after Hafeez was dropped for the upcoming three-match T20 series against South Africa.
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 series against the Proteas.
Pakistan chief selector Mohammad Wasim confirmed that this was the reason why Hafeez was not picked.
However, Malik feels that Hafeez has become an integral part of the T20 team and finds it inexcusable that he be dropped after putting up a number of strong performances.
“A senior’s presence is very important. Without a senior the entire pressure falls on the junior. You should definitely groom juniors and should take them along. But a senior should not be abruptly ignored. Seniors should remain with the side,” Malik was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“Hafeez has been a great player for Pakistan and has been giving great performances. I think he performed well in the last series as well.
“I think the PCB is doing a bit injustice [of] with him. I don’t know who has turned against whom but I have seen that some people don’t want seniors to play during the ending stages of their career. But I think this was an injustice against Hafeez.”
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.
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.