Monday Feb 01, 2021
Leading player Mohammad Hafeez, who has been left out of the team for the three-match T20 series against South Africa, intimated the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that he would not be available for the series.
A well-placed source within the PCB said that just before the first T20 against New Zealand on December 18, Hafeez through an email had communicated to the board that he would not be in a position to participate in the three-match home series against South Africa due to his prior commitment with the T10 league in the UAE.
“Yes he had sent an email to the PCB around December 15 which said that he would not be in a position to figure in the T20 series against South Africa due to his commitments with the T10 League in the UAE. Even then we tried to convince him to join the bio-secure bubble on February 3 to which he did not agree,” the source said.
The PCB and Cricket South Africa have already signed an MoU through which all the selected players for the T20 series will have to join the bubble on or before February 3.
“We have our limitations. Though we wanted to include Hafeez for the series but he was adamant to join only on February 5 after playing his last T10 League match on February 4. Since he would be traveling back to Pakistan and in between he would be out of the bubble for almost a day and rejoining others could be a risky affair. The PCB on the other hand cannot go against the MoU so we have to stick to the agreement.”
Meanwhile, Asif Ali who is also busy playing the T10 league would be joining the bubble on the given date.
Geo Super has also learnt that Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim talked to Hafeez on Saturday in an effort to convince him to join the bubble in time. “He was not ready for that as he said he could only join the bubble on February 5. That is the reason Hafeez has been left out of the T20 series,” the source said.
The source added that the PCB comprehended the situation well in time and that was why it had approached Hafeez in December.
“Hafeez’s email came after PCB’s cricket operation department approached him to clarify his position. Hafeez clearly mentioned his inability to make himself available for the series.”