The Pakistan batsman Mohammad Hafeez, who announced his retirement from international cricket earlier today, has said that the biggest disappointment of his career was when he took a stand against a “corrupt player” and PCB told him that if he didn’t want to play, it was alright, but the corrupt player would surely make a return for the Pakistan national team.
Mohammad Hafeez was probably talking about Mohammad Amir, who was found guilty of spot-fixing in 2010 and was jailed in England for some time but was allowed to return to the Pakistan squad after he completed his suspension period of 5 years.
Amir, thereafter, went on to win the Champions Trophy 2017 for Pakistan with a quality new ball spell against India in a game where Hafeez himself was playing as well, but after Hafeez’s statement today, it seems as if he was never too happy about playing alongside Amir.
Azhar Ali was also against the return of corrupt players: Mohammad Hafeez
Hafeez revealed that he was not the only Pakistan player who was against Amir’s return. The then Pakistan test captain Azhar Ali didn’t want Amir to be included in Pakistan’s set-up either, but the board didn’t even listen to him and Amir was drafted back. Amir, however, doesn’t play for Pakistan anymore and he has already retired because of his differences with the board.
Interestingly, the current PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had also opposed Amir’s return 5 years back and had insisted if he was in charge of the board, no corrupt player would have been allowed a way back, but Ramiz was just a television commentator back then and his statement didn’t matter much at that time.
Hafeez had a meeting with Ramiz Raja today and he informed him about his decision of retiring before conveying it to the media. The veteran later said he wanted to set an example for all the players to retire on their own terms and allow the young players to make their way into the circuit at the right time.
According to Mohammad Hafeez, taking the board into confidence at the time of retirement is very important and that’s why he first met the PCB chairman, Ramiz Raja, before addressing the press. However, Hafeez said that the communication of the PCB with experienced players also needs to be clear at times.
Hafeez and Ramiz Raja have been at loggerheads in the past, with Ramiz clearly saying that Pakistan selectors should move on from Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. But, these statements were made by Ramiz when he hadn’t taken up the chairmanship of PCB.