The Pakistan cricket squad has been involved in yet another controversy during an Asia Cup review match conducted close to the ODI World Cup. Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez reportedly stepped out from the PCB technical committee during a meeting scheduled to examine the team's dismal performance in the Asia Cup 2023.
Meanwhile, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq was unhappy with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for holding the procedure so close to a major event and subjecting skipper Babar Azam to uncomfortable questioning.
Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan's former captain, resigned from the PCB's Cricket Technical Committee on Thursday, following a review meeting reviewing the team's poor performance in the Asia Cup. Hafeez's exit has rightly sparked new arguments over Pakistan's current World Cup preparations, which are set to begin next month.
PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, captain Babar Azam, head coach Grant Bradburn, Chief Operating Officer Salman Nasser, Head of International Cricket Usman Wahla, and former skipper Misbah ul Haq also attended the review meeting.
Notably, Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq was absent from the meeting, and Hafeez's revelation has added gasoline to the flames. Taking to his own Twitter account, Hafeez stated his decision to leave the committee, thanking Ashraf for the chance.
I decided to leave Pakistan cricket technical committee. I served as honorary member. I would like to thank Zaka Ashraf sb for giving me this opportunity. I m always available whenever Zaka Ashraf sb need my honest suggestions for Pakistan cricket. My best wishes for Pakistan…— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) September 21, 2023
“I decided to leave Pakistan cricket technical committee. I served as honorary member. I would like to thank Zaka Ashraf sb for giving me this opportunity. I m always available whenever Zaka Ashraf sb need my honest suggestions for Pakistan cricket. My best wishes for Pakistan cricket as always. Pakistan Zindabad,” said Hafeez.
According to sources, two changes in the squad composition were made during the course of a two-day session; fast bowler Zaman Khan and spinner Abrar Ahmed are expected to replace the injured Naseem Shah and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
According to PTI, Inzamam chose not to attend the meeting because he was not persuaded it was the correct moment.
"Inzamam is a very strong-willed individual, and he did not agree with Chairman Zaka Ashraf's decision to call such a review meeting and subject Babar and Bradburn to uncomfortable questions from Misbah, Hafeez, and other board officials," the source added.
"Inzamam, a former captain and top cricketer himself, stated unequivocally that he was dissatisfied with the review process because now was the time to encourage and boost the team rather than putting them through an inquisition and showing distrust in their abilities."
Pakistan will play their first warm-up game of the ODI World Cup against New Zealand in Hyderabad in precisely a week (September 29). Pakistan will play Australia in another warm-up game before beginning their championship campaign against the Netherlands on October 6.
Pakistan squad for the World Cup: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Hasan Ali