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'The current team management is competent and helpful' - Mohammad Hafeez
Pakistan News

'The current team management is competent and helpful' - Mohammad Hafeez

Veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has backed Pakistan's existing team management by using the terms "competent" and "accommodating" to describe the current set-up.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore recently, Hafeez went on to praise head coach Misbah-ul-Haq for being a helpful mentor and granting him the requisite freedom to harness his skills.

"My experience with Misbah as a coach over the past year has been very good," he told reporters. "I have felt empowered as a player in his tenure since I have been given the freedom to train according to my requirements, which was usually not the case under past coaches."

Hafeez's comments come at a time when Misbah and bowling coach Waqar Younis have come under strict public scrutiny following another series loss in New Zealand.

Misbah and Waqar were inducted into the revamped coaching staff after the post-2019 World Cup appraisal of the Mickey Arthur-led backroom personnel, which led to the latter's exit from the team.

While Pakistan have earned two home Test wins since then, their fortunes in the traditional format have continued to dwindle in foreign conditions as they failed to achieve a single victory in seven attempts.

The era of T20I dominance claimed under Arthur has also fizzled out as Pakistan have only won one out of five series in the past 16 months.

Also Read: How Pakistan lost their No. 1 rank in T20Is

To make matters worse, a much-publicised fallout occurred between leading paceman Mohammad Amir and the coaching duo of Misbah and Waqar, resulting in the 28-year-old's indefinite break from international cricket.

Amir cited "mental torture" exerted upon him by the present team management as the reason for his withdrawal from national duties and has confirmed he is open to a comeback once this set-up is changed.

Clarifying his stance on the player-coach feud and the general perception about Misbah and Waqar's strategies, Hafeez felt excellence in the field was a better way to answer detractors instead of bringing interpersonal battles out into the open.

"I believe your successes and failures are entirely up to you. I'm not the kind of person who blames others for not performing on the field.

"I hope any shortcomings of the team management are rectified through players doing well because, at the end of the day, they are the ones who give you results. If players do not perform after being equipped in every way possible, then it is their responsibility," he said.

"Personally, I've found this management to be very competent, they are always able to accommodate me. I hope we do not indulge in a blame game so things will get better," Hafeez added.

The 40-year-old also discarded all rumours regarding his potential absence from Pakistan's upcoming T20I assignment with South Africa.

Hafeez is heading to Abu Dhabi to take part in the T10 League, which will run from January 26 to February 6. With Pakistan's T20I series against the touring Proteas beginning on February 11, there was a question mark over Hafeez's availability but he is confident of joining the side before the first match in Lahore.

"I am fully available for the Pakistan fixtures and I signed this [T10 League] contract only after seeing that this does not clash with my international commitments," he stressed.

"In terms of bio-secure protocols, I don't think this will cause any issue as I will be fully complying with all the rules and travelling from one safe bubble to another. I don't have any doubt on my availability for the upcoming matches."