‘People felt I was a bad player’ – Mohammad Hafeez recalls being dropped from Pakistan team for almost 3 years
Mohammad Hafeez has played for Pakistan for almost 17 years now. He has so far featured in 55 Tests, 218 ODIs and 91 T20Is and is at the fag end of his international career. Hafeez is one of the best players Pakistan has ever produced but the journey hasn’t been easy for the cricketer. He has now revealed that people thought he was a failure as a cricketer during the latter half of 2000s decade when he was dropped from Pakistan team.
Hafeez was out of the national team for almost three years between 2007 and 2010 before he made a stunning comeback and has continued playing for the country since then. Recalling those tough times, the 39-year-old states the way the critics had written him off at one stage.
“Back in 2007, I was not able to perform well and critics had formed an opinion that I was not cut for international cricket. Such opinions are very hard to change and it led to one of the most difficult periods of my life,” he said during an Instagram live session.
Working hard is the only way to succeed, says Mohammad Hafeez
However, Mohammad Hafeez didn’t give up and kept working hard and kept training. He also remembers the way people used to laugh looking at him practising. But for the fighter he is, Hafeez made a comeback and has been a vital cog in Pakistan team in the limited-overs format. Moreover, he reckons that the tough period when he was dropped, improved him as a professional cricketer and he also became a much-better batsman.
“Despite the criticism, I kept on putting in the hard yards and did not lose hope. People who saw me training used to laugh at me as they believed that a failed player like me was wasting their time. Between 2007 and 2010, I worked really hard on my game and more importantly, I realised that I had no one to blame but myself.
“This made a more professional and as soon as I started playing international cricket regularly again, I became a much-improved player. Working hard is the only way to succeed in life,” he added. Mohammad Hafeez has decided to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup though it seems unlikely that he will feature for Pakistan in the ODIs again.
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