Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan power-hitter Mohammad Hafeez said he will retire from international cricket if there’s someone better than him.
Hafeez is 40 years old, but is a regular face in the T20 team, where he has been one of the top performers over the last year.
Hafeez 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.
Most recently, Hafeez was the sixth-highest run-scorer in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) with 181 runs in four matches for the Lahore Qalandars, which included two fifties, at an average of 90.50 and a strike-rate of 175.72.
“I feel as a senior, you have to justify your selection. You can’t play on the basis of seniority. If you are ticking [the selection] criteria you should be there,” he said on Cricket Baaz’s YouTube channel as quoted by Ary Sports.
“I openly said to him [PCB chairman Ehsan Mani] that I play for the pride of Pakistan and I am not playing for any financial help or need.
“Yes, if someone better is ready to replace me, I’ll happily leave and retire with no resentment.”
Hafeez has been included in Pakistan’s T20 squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Pakistan will play three ODIs and four T20 Internationals against South Africa before heading to Zimbabwe for two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
Pakistan will depart for South Africa on March 26 and the tour will commence on April 2 and conclude on April 16. The ODI series will be played first.
The men in green will then head to Zimbabwe on April 17, but the dates for the matches have yet to be confirmed.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) noted that the national team will travel back to Lahore from Bulawayo on May 12.
Pakistan’s T20 Squad: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Danish Aziz, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir, Hasan Ali, Arshad Iqbal.