Mohammed Hafeez appointed as director of Pakistan men’s cricket team

Former captain and all-rounder Mohammed Hafeez has been appointed as the Director of Pakistan men’s cricket team, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Wednesday.

“Former Test captain Mohammad Hafeez has been given the responsibility of Director – Pakistan Men’s Cricket Team. Mohammad Hafeez has featured for Pakistan in 55 Tests, 218 ODIs, and 119 T20Is and has scored 12,780 runs and has taken 253 wickets,” read a statement from the PCB on Wednesday.

Hafeez was recently part of the PCB Cricket Technical Committee. The former all-rounder was part of the Pakistan Men’s team which won the ICC Champions Trophy in England in 2017. He has taken over the post from Mickey Arthur, who has also served Pakistan as head coach.

The PCB has changed the portfolio of the Pakistan coaching staff. All coaches will continue to work in National Cricket Academy while PCB will announce the new coaching staff in due course for the upcoming series in Australia and New Zealand.

Also, star Pakistan batter Babar Azam on Wednesday announced his decision to step down as Pakistan captain from all formats of the game after his side’s debacle in the ICC World Cup 2023 in India.

The 28-year-old player has relinquished the captaincy role of the side from all formats, he made the announcement on X via a statement.

“I vividly remember the moment when I received the call from the PCB to lead Pakistan in 2019. Over the last four years, I’ve experienced many highs and lows on and off the field, but I wholeheartedly and passionately aimed to maintain Pakistan’s pride and respect in the cricket world,” Babar wrote in a statement.

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“Reaching the No.1 spot in the white-ball format was a result of the collective efforts of players, coaches, and management, but I’d like to express my gratitude to passionate Pakistan cricket fans for their unwavering support during this journey,” he added.

“Today, I’m stepping down as the captain of Pakistan across all formats. It’s a difficult decision, but I feel it is the right time for this call. I want to express my sincere thanks to the Pakistan Cricket Board for entrusting me with this significant responsibility,” he stated.

During Babar’s stint, Pakistan went to the No. 1 position in ODIs. Babar Azam-led ended their disastrous campaign in the WC with a debacle at the hands of England by 93 runs.

Babar had a dismal performance with Pakistan in the ICC World Cup in India, finishing fifth with eight points from nine matches. On a personal level, Babar scored 320 runs in nine World Cup matches, the third most for Pakistan, with an average of 40 and a strike rate of 82.90.

Pakistan suffered five defeats out of their nine matches and one at the hands of arch-rival India by seven wickets. In their last league match of the tournament, Men in Green started proceedings knowing that they had the slimmest of chances of still reaching the SFs, requiring a win by an enormous margin to force a gargantuan swing on net run rate. And the possibility of such a result soon disappeared as the 2019 champions England built towards a sizeable first-innings score and registered a 93-run win.

Earlier this week, Morne Morkel resigned as the bowling coach of the Pakistan Men’s team. The former South Africa fast bowler joined the Pakistan team on a six-month contract in June this year.  

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Updated: 15 Nov 2023, 10:29 PM IST

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