Continuing on our mission to provide you with the history of our squad, today we take a look at a pivotal member of the team and veteran player Mohammad Hafeez.
Mohammad Hafeez was born on 17 October 1980 in Sargodha. He started his career by playing cricket in Bhera and was called up to the senior team during the reconstruction of the squad after a disappointing group stage exit in the 2003 edition of the World Cup.
Following strong domestic performances, as well as some consistent showings for the Pakistan A side, he remained on the fringes of a recall in 2004. He returned to the ODI side in 2005 and despite poor form with the bat, his bowling performances were impressive. In the 2006 series held in Austalia, Hafeez smashed his first century for Pakistan. With Pakistan struggling to find a solid opening pair for the Test side, he was recalled for the tour of England and in his first game The Oval he scored a fluent 95.
In 2010 he was recalled for the third ICC World Twenty20 squad. His form was poor scoring only 39 runs and taking only 2 wickets in 6 matches. However, he was still selected for the squad on Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England. He was the second highest Pakistani run scorer in the ODI series producing some solid opening partnerships with Kamran Akmal.
Following this good form, he was included in the squad that was selected to play South Africa in as he replaced disgraced skipper Salman Butt as an opening batsman in both Tests. He played in all 5 ODI matches ending up as the top run scorer and he also topped the bowling averages for the series. At the end of 2010, he was also selected for the team that would tour New Zealand and the West Indies and this resulted in him establishing himself as a regular member of the Test, ODI, and T20 teams.
He was appointed captain of the Pakistan T20 team in May 2012 and vice-captain, under Misbah-ul-Haq, of the ODI and Test teams. During the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in 2012, Pakistan reached the semi-finals where they lost to the home side. As the captain, he led Pakistan to victories in series against South Africa, West Indies, and Zimbabwe. He equaled the records of most wins as a Pakistani captain in the T20 formats and most number of away series wins as a Pakistani captain.
Under his leadership, Pakistan managed to move up to the second position in the rankings. He also became the first Pakistani captain to hit three fifties in a row and became Pakistan’s leading run scorer in T20s. After Pakistan’s exit from the T20 World Championship 2014, Hafeez apologized on behalf of his team and stepped down as captain. His resignation was a rare incident in Pakistan cricket.
In March 2016, Pakistan’s exit from the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 after losing 3 matches caused great controversy in Pakistan, with blame shifting between Waqar Younis as well as many of the players on the team. Hafeez was accused, by Younis, of lying about his knee injury before the T20. He said it could have affected the team’s poor performance. After missing out of international cricket for months Hafeez was then picked for an ODI series against Australia. For the second ODI Azhar Ali was ruled out because of injury which promoted Hafeez to captain Pakistan, he did a very good job as Pakistan won the match this was the teams in 12 years on Australian soil. Not only was Hafeez’s captaincy appreciated but he also made 72 runs which earned him the ma of the match award. Hafeez also played an integral role in Pakistan’s triumph in the Champions Trophy 2017 in England.
Despite a disappointing start to the CWC 2019, we here at team ProperGaanda are still supporting the men in green and hoping that they learn from their mistakes and bounce back for their next game against England. Given this, we feel like Hafeez can play an integral role in revitalizing the team to get themselves back up and put up a better performance against England on Monday. He was one of the four players who managed to score runs in double digits against the West Indies yesterday and hence we believe he can play an important role in helping the team regain its form.