Tuesday Sep 15, 2020
Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez could once again incur the wrath of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after he openly questioned the benefit of the new domestic season, spoke in favour of the abolished departmental cricket and announced plans to bypass cricket authorities and take up the matter with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Hafeez, never shy to speak his mind, passed the remarks in an interview with Samaa. While former cricketers have long slammed the PCB for ending departmental cricket, mum's been the word among current players until now, with Hafeez's once again being the dissenting voice.
"I tried to meet the PM because I believe someone has to meet him, inform about the difficulties our colleagues in the domestic circuit are facing because of this new structure,” he said.
“The real problem is that within departments, there are teams for every sport except cricket and because of that, up to 900 players and 300 supporting staff members are now unemployed.”
The man nicknamed Professor said that his conscience did not let him accept the domestic deal last year as he continued to pinpoint holes in the new system.
“Unemployment in the cricketing fraternity has increased significantly because of the new domestic structure. It is my opinion that we cannot accommodate deserving cricketers in just six regional teams. I don’t understand how a cricketer can manage the financial needs of his family from the time he starts playing at the club level until the time he will represent Pakistan,” he said.
Hafeez also explained how the old system had helped cricketers such as himself pursue their dream of playing professional cricket.
"You can look at me and I am a great example of how departments helped Pakistani cricketers. Back in the year 2000, I was inducted by the SNGPL. If that wouldn’t have happened, I don’t think I could’ve pursued my cricket career because I could not have afforded to buy quality equipment to compete at the highest level,” he said.