‘Relationship could worsen’: Hafeez, senior players at odds

Pakistan are currently 2-0 down in a five-match T20I series against New Zealand

January 15, 2024
Hafeez speaks to the players during a training session. - PCB

KARACHI: The relationship between the Pakistan men’s cricket team Director Mohammad Hafeez and senior players is less than ideal amid the ongoing tour of New Zealand.

According to sources, the players are unhappy with the long meetings conducted by Hafeez as well as the latter’s stern approach with regards to the management of the team.

Additionally, No Objection Certificates (NOCs) were issued to star cricketers, Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan, Azam Khan and others, for their participation in the upcoming season of ILT20. However, when players asked for NOCs for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Hafeez hesitated, putting their contracts in jeopardy.

Team sources added that it is possible that the relationship between Hafeez and the players could worsen if there is no change in the way both parties are handling things at the moment.

Earlier, pace bowler Adam Milne claimed four wickets as New Zealand beat Pakistan by 21 runs in the second Twenty20 international Sunday to take a 2-0 series lead.

The tourists threw away a strong position in their run chase after Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman scored half-centuries as they were dismissed for 173 in the final over, in response to New Zealand´s 194-8.

Victory came at a cost for the Black Caps, whose captain Kane Williamson retired hurt with a hamstring injury while batting.

Williamson won’t take any further part in the series, coach Gary Stead said Monday.

Williamson was already set to miss the third game on Wednesday, and with the first Test against South Africa less than three weeks away, Stead said his star batter would sit out the final two games as well.

"With the Test matches so close as well and in the big scheme of things (they are) a higher priority I think we´ll try and make sure he´s right for that," Stead said.

Tim Seifert is expected to replace Williamson in the batting line, with Stead indicating Seifert was already set to replace Devon Conway as wicketkeeper at some stage in the series.