LONDON: All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has rubbished reports of “grouping” within the Pakistan cricket team, questioning “why such speculation does not happen when the team is winning.” The cricketer nickname Professor aired his views while speaking to media personnel following a team practice session in London. “Whenever we lose this talk of ‘grouping’ emerges,” he said. “This is mere chatter.” The team is being heavily criticised back home for their disastrous World Cup 2019 campaign where they have won just once in their first five games. Hafeez said that “the past few days were very disappointing and painful for the players too,” adding that “we are just as hurt as anyone else over the defeat to India.” “It pains us too to see Pakistan so low down on the points table.”
He said that the failure was a collective one and urged fans to not single out any individual. “We did not play well as a team. Everyone is responsible for the team’s poor showing. [Therefore], it is not right to launch personal attacks on players,” he said.
Fellow all-rounder Shoaib Malik, whose form has plunged dramatically in England, is catching the most flak. Hafeez provided an update on Malik, saying that “he is preparing for the match positively despite his poor form.”
“Whether it’s me or Shoaib Malik… we all play for the team’s good,” he said.
Furthermore, Hafeez refused to give up on his World Cup dream, saying that “we are still in it with a chance and will play better cricket [from here on].”