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Hafeez’s elevation as T20 skipper backfired: Ijaz

Published Feb 26, 2013 02:18pm


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ijaz butt, pakistan cricket, pakistan cricket board, zaka ashraf, pcb, pakistan's tour of south africa, pakistan south africa test series, mohammad hafeez, misbah-ul-haq
Ijaz Butt. -File photo

LAHORE: Former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ijaz Butt said on Monday that the national team’s 0-3 drubbing at the hands of South Africa in the three-Test series has posed serious questions about the captaincy since the performance of both Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez left a lot to be desired and indicated that their confidence level has gone down considerably which could harm the team spirit in days to come.

“I had criticised the PCB’s decision to appoint Hafeez as T20 captain because I had the same sort of fears in mind at the time,” said Ijaz while talking to Dawn.

“Just imagine if both Misbah and Hafeez are struggling like this and are in a certain frame of mind about each other, the captaincy issue can really get ugly,” he said.

“If you compare Misbah’s individual performance before Hafeez was named T20 captain, it was fantastic as he single-handedly saved and won many matches for Pakistan,” Ijaz observed.

“On the contrary, the tentative manner in which Misbah batted and led against South Africa showed that he has lost his confidence as batsman and skipper.”

“As for Hafeez, he has himself suffered as a batsman since his elevation as T20 skipper. Prior to that move, his record was extremely good but after elevation to the captain’s post, his game has rapidly gone down,” said Ijaz.

“Against South Africa in Tests, Hafeez looked like a mediocre player and his weaknesses were exposed, raising serious questions about his place in Tests and his ability to lead Pakistan in any format in the future.”

Ijaz recalled that with Misbah as captain and Mohsin Khan as head coach, the Pakistan team graph was rising as Pakistan had whitewashed top-ranked England besides defeating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“But since then, the incumbent hierarchy of the PCB has taken two major decisions — that of bringing in Dav Whatmore as head coach in place of Mohsin Khan despite the latter’s tremendous contribution, and of appointing Hafeez as T20 captain besides naming him as deputy of Misbah for the other two formats. And both the decisions have backfired quite badly,” noted Ijaz.

“To me the contribution of Whatmore and fielding coach Julian Fountain is nil because instead of lifting the team further, they have brought it down.”

Ijaz said the 3-0 whitewash in South Africa should see some heads roll in the PCB, but added that no one had the guts to accept the responsibility for the debacle and quit post.

Ijaz also pointed out that another main problem hurting Pakistan cricket was the inconsistency in testing out the new players and giving them a solid run before taking any decision on their future.

“This trend is causing big damage to our cricket and I think some senior players feel threatened by these youngsters and are not ready to encourage them,” he said.

He also admitted that there were many stakeholders in the selection of the team who supported their own blue-eyed players. “Yes, we have two captains, three selectors and some coaches and they all have their own blue-eyed boys and that is a disastrous situation,” said Ijaz without mincing any words.

He urged the PCB to hold all those accountable who were behind the team’s poor show in South Africa. “I am not worried about the defeat so much but the manner we caved in during all the three matches. All the Tests ended in either three or four days which is shameful,” he said.

To a question regarding the now postponed Pakistan Super League (PSL), Ijaz said no top player was ready to come to Pakistan for the league.

“It was a flop thing as the PCB has not adopted the right way to hold the PSL,” he said. “In my tenure we also started planning for holding it and we received an offer of US$50million from one party. The matches were to be held in Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and in Pakistan. That offer is still intact,” he disclosed.


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Comments (42) Closed

Kashif Feb 27, 2013 11:21am
But how many are? Likes of Imran and Wasim were known as the best cap of the world. Hafeez is doing ok! And who else is there?
Tahir Ali Feb 26, 2013 01:28pm
shehzad77 Feb 27, 2013 11:40am
Look who is talking now. But about Hafeez he may be right.
Ashraf Feb 27, 2013 08:09am
what a shameless man Mr.Ejaz is . He is the person responsible for the total destruction of Pakistan cricket. His tenure was full of horrible events in our cricket history. He still has the guts to pass comments on cricket forgetting his darkest past as chairman.
Cricket Fanatic Feb 27, 2013 07:19am
This guy was responsible for overseeing the worst phase of Pakistan cricket in the last decade.
Pakistani Feb 27, 2013 06:34am
The performance of the team,PCB and its Chairman is in line with the state of affairs in the country which is total chaos and loot.
sraz45 Feb 27, 2013 07:07am
Ejaz was a mediocre player at his best, however being related to the Gujrat Chaudhry clan has made him a cricket expert. Like Imran Khan advocates it's time to change the dirty water at the Cricket Board of Pakistan.
Salar Feb 27, 2013 04:57am
I think captaincy is a gutsy job and I have always noticed that Hafeez carry himself like a little girl. I don't see any of Pakistani players to be fit for the job. Watching Misbah and Yuonas like senior players playing with such a fear on their faces, I thought they were going to piss in their paints.
Indian fan Feb 27, 2013 03:47am
The only way Pakistan's batsman can improve is playing more and more into English country,Australian league matches as their technique has been adapted to Asian pitches.Definitely Pakistan should go for absolute turner for South Africa on their return tour in UAE ,Saeed Ajmal,Abdul Rahman has the ability to turn the table on South Africa and score result would be in favor of Pakistan.I am confident of Pakistan victory .You have best of spinners in world use them to the full in your home series.Pakistan should start looking for building steady pace attack combination for future series abroad.It would not be ideal time to put new comers against South Africa,Australia,England.They are top ranking team in world cricket and only established pair of pace attack would be able to do well against them.
Saad Feb 26, 2013 02:58pm
The terrible policy and procedures that this guy put in place while he was the PCB Chairman and his ugly decisions during his tenure is the cause of what the Pakistani team is going through today. If this guy has even a tad bit of shame, he should just keep his mouth shut and confine himself to his bedroom. Along with many others, this guy did everything to ruin or did not do anything for Pakistan cricket to prosper. Irony is that cricket is one of the very few amusement avenues left for the poor man of Pakistan. But as Butt proved during his term, he is shameless and will continue his analysis regardless of how pathetic they are.
IFTIKHAR KHAN Feb 27, 2013 02:48am
Mr Ijaz But, please be quite and mind your own business,under your Micky Mouse management Pakistan lost three talented players.
Ahmad Zubairi Feb 27, 2013 02:33am
Oh please stay home and run our business you are the last person we wan to hear from. Yo damaged Pakistan cricket more than anyone. Ahmad
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Feb 26, 2013 04:23pm
Yes, I fully agree with the former PCB chief for the first time since he came at the helm of cricket affairs in the 'land of the pure' for reasons beyond the scope, size and design of this excellent 'Dawn' forum. Like many able and out-standing cricket academics, experts, players, coaches, managers, physios, trainers, professions and administrators, I will even strongly profess by stating that both Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq should be shown the door immediately in order to avoid similar defeats in future. In fact Misbah-ul-Haq is 'over the hill' as they say and Hafeez is still a 'new kid on the block' with minimal leadership qualities and charisma. Regarding the experienced and accredited foreign coaches, the lesser said the better. Those who know the culture, background, history, norms, values and traditions of cricket and cricketers in the 'land of the pure' also know that foreigners no matter how 'heavy duty' they are both as experts and as practitioners, can't make much of a difference at the top in Pakistani cricket. The best policy should be to hire local retired test and ODI players as coaches like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohsin Hassan Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Aamir Sohail, Rashid Latif etc. etc. because being the so-called 'sons of the soil' they are in a better position to harness the inert and evident traits and skills of Pakistani cricketers and be instrumental in making a difference 'at the top' when it comes to 'hanging on tough' by the current team players against top cricket teams of the world like the South Africans. It is high time and the right time for the 'movers and shakers' of cricket in the country to do something positive without wasting any more time otherwise, they might end up on the wrong side of 'history isle' in the end.
Nasser Ali Khan Feb 26, 2013 04:18pm
khisiani billi khamba nochay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
american Feb 27, 2013 01:28am
His comments are nothing more than personal vendetta and not based on any merits or technical analysis.
Salman Feb 26, 2013 04:06pm
i want to know that which match Misbah ul Haq has won single-handedly for Pakistan ? In his 39 test matches he has made just 3 hundreds, whereas in 109 ODIs, he has never made a hundred. He is probably only regular ODI batsman captain, who has stood in more than 30 matches as Captain and never made a century. and all the victories he has brought for Pakistan are courtesy Saeed Ajmal and Co. Unfortunately; our ODI and Test Captain doesn't make his place in the team
Ali Shah Feb 27, 2013 12:14pm
Posting an interview with this clown. I though Dawn was supposed to be a serious newspaper.
Aatif Feb 27, 2013 09:42am
One of worst Chairman of PCB ...
sali Feb 26, 2013 10:48pm
Neither Hafeez or Misbah have the technique to make Pak team in 80s or 90s. Hafeez should be no where close to the test team. T20 captainship is just a lottery, there is no one who can claim to be a permenant member of T20 team except Ajmal.
Mustafa Feb 26, 2013 10:34pm
Hafeez doesn't deserve to be playing test cricket. We should accept that every player can't be the specialist of every format of the game. Let Hafeez captain T20 side or may be oneday side but surely not be included in test team. In onedays and T20s we are a reasonably good side given the circumstances we are in. But tests are indeed our weakness. PCB should look for specialist test side. And our nation should accept and respect tests as the pinnacle of cricket.
EmMoosa Feb 26, 2013 05:53pm
We still remember those horrible days when Butt was the PCB boss. His only qualification for the promotion to that position was having the close relation with one of the PPP's ministers. Every cricket lover got sigh of releaf when he was kicked out from PCB.
Capt C M Khan Feb 26, 2013 09:07am
For once I agree with Mr Butt in all aspects. The PCB should take this article seriously and bring CHANGES. Having two Captains in a team is like having two wives in a kitchen, they are both UNDER PRESSURE. I had commented about this when Hafeez was made Captain this can be found in archives . According to my observation of Hafeez over the past 8 or 10 years he is a MEDIOCRE and not Captain material in the class of Imran, Wasim, etc..
Ali Feb 26, 2013 09:17am
Match fixing, 0-3 loss to Australia, mishandling of Mohd Yousaf and Younis Khan's case, terrorist attack on Sri Lankan team are some of the highlights of his era! What is this pompous old man talking about?
kamran Feb 26, 2013 08:10pm
"On the contrary, the tentative manner in which Misbah batted and led against South Africa showed that he has lost his confidence as batsman and skipper" Against world best bowlers averaging below 20 runs per wicket Amala would also be tentative. Mr. Butt should retire from cricket world and go to WightWatchers diet. He made a joke of PCB during his chairmanship. He is the one who ruined Mohammad Amir and Asif's career.
M Sajid Feb 26, 2013 10:30am
Just see who is talking!
truenetworker Feb 27, 2013 02:08pm
Younis Khan is one name that springs to my mind.
sahil Feb 26, 2013 11:39am
Mr. Ijaz sahib i think misbah is close to you.... or in relation, for my point of view "Misbah is not deserved as a player in national team, his performance just like a school cricket, i dont why Pakistani team bearing misbah.
truenetworker Feb 27, 2013 01:56pm
Butt sahib, still drinking the PCB Chairman Kool-Aid? Please get over it.
A.K. Feb 27, 2013 01:57pm
Mr. Butt , Please take rest in peace!!!
Tahir Feb 26, 2013 11:52am
Butt Sahib, what about the ten other players who did not fire either?
Omar Feb 26, 2013 06:26pm
Absolutely, given his single handed demolition of Pakistan cricket, why even approach Ijaz Butt for comments!
Muhammad Asif Feb 26, 2013 12:18pm
Ijaz said the 3-0 whitewash in South Africa should see some heads roll in the PCB, but added that no one had the guts to accept the responsibility for the debacle and quit post. Did he himself leave his post? despite horrible record of the team under his chairmanship. Our media should also discourage such mediocre faces coming into limelight. bygones are gone. lets move ahead, please!
Adnan Feb 26, 2013 06:07pm
Is this guy for real?? Yes we lost, and in hindsight Misbah could have made a couple of better decisions, but that doesnt take away from the fact that we were beaten by a bunch of true world beaters. . The technical weaknesses of our batsmen have nothing to do with the captain - Misbah is and will probably will remain the best leader our team has had before or after Imran Khan. Isnt this the gentleman who threw out Yousuf, Younis and Afridi from the leaders slot, and then made the 'inspired' selection of a certain another Butt to bring us much honour? How in the world can he dismiss Hafeez's T20 captaincy before the series has even started - I seem to recall we did quite okay under Hafeez in the last series against a much better rated team in rather hostile conditions! And as for coaching , we may still be far from the best but our fielding has come miles under Julien and Whatmore; quite safely very far from the being the worst, which we inarguably were almost throughout Mr Butt's tenure. This man really has no idea of what cricket is about.
imtiaz Feb 26, 2013 12:50pm
I endorse Ijaz's view; make real sense.
Kashif Feb 26, 2013 07:19pm
What is this guy talking about... he should be the last person criticizing this team or management. So many disaster
A. Khan Feb 26, 2013 02:09pm
So says one of the most incompetent PCB chairman of recent years.
Sam Feb 26, 2013 02:17pm
Hafeez did great as skipper in T20, its SA tour where he struggled. Mr Ijaz is still smoking the same thing.
ahmed2030 Feb 26, 2013 05:25pm
I could not have said it any better. Spot on.
Rehan Feb 26, 2013 02:32pm
Very easy to criticize. Did Ijaz butt accep responsibility for mishaps and blunders during his tenure. Nevertheless, pakistan cricket is in a shambles just like many other institutions in this unfortunate country
Ras Feb 27, 2013 09:52pm
Do not look who is talking. Emphasize on what he is saying. Hafeez was barely an average player and handy off spin bowler. He was never a good batsman and appointing him as a T20 captain was a big joke as he is way too much nervous.
kamran Feb 27, 2013 11:25pm
Test batsman can also be part of ODI team. But for T20 it is different. In our current line of batsman Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal and Nasir Jamshed can be part of all formats of cricket, depending under what conditions(pitches) the matches are played. PCB needs to groom Umar Akmal as a test batsman. After Inzamam he is the most talented batsman we got. We are wasting him. PCB needs batsman coaches like Mohsin Khan to groom batsman talent and build temperament to adjust the conditions. If our batsmen scores 50 runs they think they are a super star. Some what true for T20 but not ODI and Test cricket. We need batsman coach to make a batsman aim high and not to go to Sajda after making 50 runs.
zahid Feb 28, 2013 04:34am
Pakistan 3 zero defeat is not shocking. I thought Pakistan will not make more then 25 runs in the first test match.But Pakistan made 49 runs. Pakistani batsman cannot play fast or moving ball. Therefore losing against Africa was not shocking.