Mohammad Hafeez to delay his retirement if ICC T20 World Cup gets postponed

Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez, second left. I want to retire from T20 cricket after playing a big tournament in which I perform well, and hopefully go out on a winning note, says Hafeez
Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez has said that he will delay his retirement plans from the shortest format of the game if the ICC World T20 scheduled in Australia, later this year, is postponed.


Hafeez said that he wants to retire from T20 cricket after playing a big tournament.


The T20 World Cup 2020 is slated to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15, however, the fate of the tournament hangs in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions throughout the world.


"I gave retiring from T20 cricket after the World Cup a lot of thought. Just like when I retired from Test cricket, I decided to retire on my own terms. It took into consideration my own goals, as well as the interests of Pakistan cricket," said Hafeez in a video conference.


"I want to retire from T20 cricket after playing a big tournament in which I perform well, and hopefully go out on a winning note. This is my plan, and if the World T20 is postponed to November or some later time, that doesn't mean I won't play it," he added.


Earlier, Australia's Sports Minister Richard Colbeck had said that the country is still hopeful going ahead with the tournament.


"The Federal Government continues to work closely with the Local Organising Committee and state governments on planning for the Men's T20 World Cup. Our decisive response to the pandemic and the nation's ability to flatten the curve of the virus has resulted in the roll-out of a three-step framework for a COVID safe Australia. This has included the staged return of sport at all levels," Colbeck had told ANI.


Hafeez on Raja’s comments


Asked about former skipper Raja's comments, he said: "He is entitled to his opinion. I don't play cricket on the basis of what others say. I will not leave cricket on the basis of what others say. I hope to continue to serve Pakistan. So my career, my wish."


PCB did not award central contracts to seniors like Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir but chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said they are in their plans.


Hafeez on saliva ban


Quizzed about his take on ICC's ban on use of saliva on the ball, Hafeez said he is happy as long as cricket is resuming and these "small" changes are temporary and can be adjusted with.


"Life is a challenge. Personally I feel cricket resuming gives me greater joy and for that I am willing to neglect small changes in rule. It will be back and it is a temporary change I feel.


"I have been injured a lot of times and I managed to come back. So it's similar. We need to sacrifice for the game to continue and we need to be ready to do it," said Hafeez who has played 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 91 T20s for Pakistan since making his debut in 2003.


Hafeez also said he does not think the team will require his services for the Test side in England, if needed he will make a U-turn on his decision to focus on white-ball cricket.


"All these players will go and return in one flight. There cannot be any replacement keeping safety in mind. I hope the situation does not arise where I have to play Test cricket again. But I will always put my hand up if the team needs me."


Can't blame any result, but India lacked intent in Eng WC game: Hafeez


Hafeez also said India cricket team did not show intent during their 2019 World Cup game against England and he was let down as a cricket fan.


In the match at Birmingham, India were comprehensively beaten by 31 runs after failing to chase England's score of 337/7 last year. Pakistan missed out on a semifinal berth as a result of that game and crashed out of the tournament.


England all-rounder Ben Stokes recently said he was a bit surprised with the way in which the Indian players looked to plan the chase. And while many former Pakistan cricketers looked to use that statement to prove their point that India lost the game to keep Pakistan from qualifying for the knockout stages, Hafeez has said that there was no intent to play with spirit.


"Ask any cricket fan, everyone will say intent to play with spirit was not there. I don't know about the results and who went out because of that. We played good cricket and we were out because of our small mistakes. So I can't blame any result for that," Hafeez, who was part of the 2019 World Cup, told reporters during a video conference facilitated by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).


"But as a fan if I see the match, I did not see the match winning intent. I felt bad for the sport. The encounter factor was missing where both teams were playing to win. The mistakes we made, we failed to tick a few boxes in the 2019 World Cup. But as a fan, that is my opinion about that game," added the 39-year old.

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