Karachi: Feb 16, 2014
“It is strange that for years now Pakistani players have not been allowed to play in the IPL [Indian Premier League]. Because it is a world class league and there is so much to learn from it,” Hafeez said in an interview to Express newspaper.
“I played in the first season of the IPL and I got a chance to share the dressing room with greats like Sourav Ganguly and Ricky Pointing and it was a great learning experience. I believe that what our players are missing out the most is this aspect of playing in the IPL,” he said.
The all-rounder, who represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the first season said he had stopped following the IPL auction because Pakistani players were not part of it.
“It is no use taking interest in a thing you are not part of. But this IPL problem is something that our cricket board should look into and resolve. Because it is a world class event and every player wants to take part in such an event where the big crowds only add to the fun and excitement,” Hafeez added.
The Pakistan captain said he personally would like to play in the IPL if the doors are open. “My belief has always been to keep politics and sports apart.”
Talking about the forthcoming World T20 Cup in Bangladesh where Pakistan will clash with India, Hafeez said it was going to be a tough event for his team.
“I know that we have not performed well against India in ICC [International Cricket Council]events but I believe for good or bad the past should be past. This is a new event and obviously we will go into the match against India with lots of passion and will to win.”
Hafeez said that though Pakistan were placed in the group of death with India, Australia and West Indies he was confident that the team would not disappoint their countrymen.
“We have beaten all these teams in the past and I think we have a top-class T20 squad that is capable of defeating anyone. So definitely I am not under any pressure because of the strong group or India and I think we can go all the way this time.”
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