Hafeez divulges details of his conversation with Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan

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Our Correspondent
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Former Pakistan team director, Mohammad Hafeez. — X/@TheRealPCB
Former Pakistan team director, Mohammad Hafeez. — X/@TheRealPCB

LAHORE: Days after former Pakistan team director Mohammad Hafeez parted ways with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the cricketer has revealed some details of his conversations with star cricketers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan during the T20I series against New Zealand.

Hafeez, in an interview, spoke about his insistence to the players on recognising their individual roles in the team to emphasise its significance on Pakistan's success in the broader context.

The former captain revealed spending the two months of his short tenure convincing Babar about cricket's collective nature as a game, stressing how each player's contribution plays a crucial role in the achievements the team garners.

The ex-cricketer also acknowledged the star batter's exceptional talent with the bat, but said he reminded him about his greater goal, which was to develop the Pakistan team.

“You are a great player, you are a wonderful player, and you are playing great cricket; however, you have to develop Pakistan team,” Hafeez said, he told Babar.

The veteran cricketer urged Babar and Rizwan to embrace positional changes for the team’s benefit. Hafeez specifically suggested Babar transition from his accustomed opening role to batting at number three, a position where he has excelled in One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

“We need to develop a team, and for that, I want you to come at number three because you have been playing this role in the ODI cricket for the last six years,” Hafeez said.

Last week, the cricket veteran bid farewell to his post as the team's director. The development came after the takeover of the newly-appointed PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi, who refused to entertain Hafeez when he intended to meet the new board chief to submit his report about the tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Hafeez had replaced Mickey Arthur as director of cricket in November 2023 amid a major shakeup within the team's management following the Green Shirts' dismal performance in Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup 2023.

Geo News learnt from sources that the PCB and Hafeez have decided to part ways as the board isn't interested in working with the former cricketer.

"The Pakistan Cricket Board extends heartfelt gratitude to Mohammad Hafeez, Director Pakistan men’s cricket team, for his invaluable contributions," the board said in a statement.