by Farid Khan (3rd July 2013)
Pakistan's T20I captain, Mohammad Hafeez spoke to Pakpassion following the announcement of the squads for the tour to West Indies. PakPassion.net: How do you see this T20I squad? Mohammad Hafeez: I think it's a balanced squad, with a mix of youth and experience.
We have been doing good in this format and I am hopeful for a good show.
PakPassion.net: What about your own performances? You haven't been among the runs of late. Are you concerned by that? Mohammad Hafeez: No, I am not.
I always try to give my best shot. Unfortunately, I missed out in the Champions Trophy, but scored a ton against Ireland prior to that, which wasn't noticed. I have been scoring runs for the past three years and have been an integral part of the team setup.
One should not rate a player on the basis of two or three performances. You should think in the long run.
PakPassion.net: What were you complaining about when MS Dhoni took your catch off Bhuveneshwar Kumar in the Champions Trophy? Mohammad Hafeez: There was a distraction, actually.
The match resumed after the rain delay and as soon as the bowler ran in to bowl, a spectator threw a white cloth towards the sightscreen. I played no shot, but didn't lodge an official complaint.
PakPassion.net: How do you see Umar Akmal as a wicket-keeper? Won't it put extra pressure on him? Mohammad Hafeez: We had discussion with him and he was ready to take up this job.
He has been working hard on his wicket-keeping skills at the NCA. Hopefully he will do well in the upcoming tour.
PakPassion.net: How do you see Shahid Afridi making a comeback? Mohammad Hafeez: Comeback?! He was never dropped from the T20I side.
He is a legend, a match-winner. His presence is what is the most important thing. As far as being recalled to the ODI squad is concerned, I just hope he clicks there. Pray for him as well as for all of us.
PakPassion.net: There are a lot of stories in the media regarding a rift between you and Abdul Razzaq? Are they true? Mohammad Hafeez: No, there is no such rift.
He is just not playing any cricket. He didn't play domestic cricket for his department either. You can ask the selectors why he hasn't been picked. They will brief you better.
PakPassion.net: There were rumours in the media that this tour will be your last chance and that you will be removed as T20I skipper.
What do you have to say about these rumours? Mohammad Hafeez: Yes, I have come to know of them. I was in the UK just recently with my family and when I came back I was made aware of them. I am not bothered, to be frank. If there is any better player than me, he should come forward.
PakPassion.net: How do you see Pakistan's chances in the West Indies? Mohammad Hafeez: I think we have a very good chance. They are the T20I champions and defeating them on their home soil will not be easy, but we will try our best there. I want our fans to wish us luck and hopefully we will not disappoint them.