Recalling Mohammad Hafeez to Test squad was PCB’s ‘biggest blunder’: Aamer Sohail
Mohammad Hafeez bowed out of Test cricket with scores of 0 and 8. ©Getty Images

Former Pakistan batsman and chief selector Aamer Sohail believes that the allrounder Mohammad Hafeez should not have been added to the Test squad in October, having not played a Test in two years, if his intention was to retire before the year was up. Terming the Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision to recall Hafeez as the “biggest blunder” of recent times because it blocked the road for a younger player, Sohail said the issue highlighted problems inside the board.

Hafeez, 38, was added to Pakistan’s 17-member Test squad just days before a series Australia without specific reason from the PCB, having not played a Test in over two years. In September, the PCB had omitted Hafeez  from the ODI squad for the Asia Cup on fitness grounds, which led Sohail to comment at the the time that the selectors were “playing to the gallery”.

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With Hafeez having retired at the end of the recent Test series loss to New Zealand in the UAE, Sohail felt the decision to recall him showed the selectors’ incompetence.

“The biggest blunder that the PCB made during the preceding two series was the selection of Mohammad Hafeez, who played in both Test series and when it was crunch time for Pakistan, he retired with a whimper and without much fuss,” Sohail wrote for pakpassion.net. “One should really sit him down and ask him why he wanted to play Test match cricket so badly and then retire like that?

“Why didn’t he let a youngster play in his place during those two Test series in UAE to build his confidence before the tour of South Africa and produce something good for Pakistan cricket? It might sound a little unfair, but the Mohammad Hafeez selection for the series against Australia and New Zealand also places a huge question mark on the competence of the Pakistan selection committee.”

Since he scored a century on his return to Pakistan’s Test squad, Hafeez managed 57 runs in six innings. In the Tests with New Zealand, he had scores of 20, 10, 9, 0 and 8.