Hafeez backs Pakistan to excel in South Africa


Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez has backed Pakistan to defeat South Africa during the upcoming away tour after the disappointing Test series defeat against New Zealand.

In an interview, the all-rounder said that the current squad is capable enough to give the home side a tough time in all three formats.

He said, “The conditions in South Africa are challenging but that does not mean that teams can’t go and win there,” adding that “Pakistan has the required set of players who have the ability to go there and come up with the goods.”

Speaking about Pakistan’s Test home series loss against New Zealand in UAE, the 38-year-old said that it is important to forget what happened in the past before embarking on a new tour.

“Although the results did not go as expected during the recently concluded New Zealand Test series in UAE but having said it is always important to ensure that we forget the results of the past and keep of our minds focused on our next series,” he said.

The Pakistan all-rounder brushed aside the notion that he retired from Tests due to fear of facing South Africa pacer Dale Steyn, who has dismissed him 15 times in his career.

“I did not retire from Test cricket due to fear of facing Dale Steyn,” he made it clear. “I took this decision for the betterment of Pakistan cricket but if someone thinks on those lines, then good luck with that.”

When asked about leading Lahore Qalandars in the next edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL), Hafeez said: “The Lahore Qalandars management have placed their trust in me by making me captain of the side and I will try not to disappoint the fans and the owners. Hopefully the side will put up a great show in the next season of PSL.”

While talking about his retirement from the limited-overs formats Hafeez said that his current focus in on playing the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales, adding that he has no plans to retire from ODIs and T20Is.

“I don’t have any plans in place regarding retirement from ODIs and T20Is because right now my focus is on playing the ODI World Cup for Pakistan,” he said. “As long as I am fit and performing well in the field, I will continue to represent Pakistan in limited-overs cricket.”