Thursday Jul 15, 2021
NOTTINGHAM: Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez is perhaps the perfect illustration of the saying "age is just a number" as the 40-year-old is still going strong.
Hafeez, who now features for Pakistan in the T20 format only, has played no less than 106 T20Is, scoring 2,388 runs at 27.13 with 14 half-centuries.
The Pakistan team, currently preparing for a three-match T20I series against England that starts on Friday at the Trent Bridge Nottingham, will be banking on Hafeez to spearhead the batting top-order.
Hafeez has some fond memories of playing in England. His first T20I was against England, which Pakistan won by five wickets at Bristol on 28 August 2006.
Hafeez scored 46 off 40, which included five fours. He was also the highest individual scorer for Pakistan in the match.
The seasoned campaigner had an instrumental role in helping Pakistan’s ICC Champions Trophy 2017 victory as he played a crucial innings in the final against India at the Oval, London. His quick fire unbeaten 57 off 37, which included four fours and three sixes helped Pakistan to their match winning 338-run total.
In his first-ever ODI against England in 2003, Hafeez was declared player of the match for his 69 runs and one wicket, which helped Pakistan beat the hosts by two wickets.
The right-handed batsman has featured in 12 T20Is against England, scoring 289 at 28.90. He has two half-centuries to his name with a best of 86 not out.
When Pakistan last toured England in 2020, Hafeez, in two T20Is, scored 155 runs at a staggering average of 155 and striking the ball at 176.13. He scored a half-century in each innings in the series which was levelled at 1-1.
Leading from the front as a senior player, Hafeez scored crucial runs in New Zealand last year. Despite Pakistan losing the series 2-1, Hafeez made a 140-run contribution at 70, with 99 not out as his best score. He was second on the list amongst top run-getters in the series.
Since 1 January 2020 to date, Hafeez has featured in 17 T20Is, where he has scored 480 at 48, with a strike rate of 143.28. The team has around 65 per cent winning ratio in the 17 matches in which Hafeez has played.
While talking to pcb.com.pk, Mohammad Hafeez said: “I am happy to be back in England again as I have great memories of playing in this country. The T20I series against England will be a treat to watch for the fans and good display of skills and talent is expected from both sides.
“The series is crucial for us as it will help us understand where we are placed as a team for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. Good performance against a top ranked side will give players and team management great confidence going into the mega event.”
Talking about transferring his learnings to young cricketers, Hafeez said, “As a senior player, I feel it is my duty to transfer my experience and knowledge to young players in the team which I have gained over the years. I want to leave a legacy, so when these young players become senior they too help the new ones of that time as I helped them.”
Pakistan is currently on the fourth spot in the ICC rankings with 261 points, while England is at the top with 278 points.