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March 8, 2018

World Cup 2019 is my big target, says Hafeez

Sports

March 8, 2018

DUBAI: With a little more than a year to go before World Cup 2019 rolls into action in England, 1992 champions Pakistan are busy mulling ways and means to raise a team strong and balanced enough to win back the coveted crown.

They have a fair idea of whom to select but there are a few key players, who do not have age on their side.Take for example the case of Mohammad Hafeez.The former Pakistan captain will be 38 in October. In recent times his performance has been inconsistent and the fact that he is not allowed to bowl because of an illegal action narrows his chances of getting selected in the touring party for England next summer.

But Hafeez is confident that he will not just make it in Pakistan’s World Cup squad but also give his best in the tournament.“As a senior player 2019 World Cup is my target and I will try to give my best in it,” he announced after hitting a fifty in a lost PSL cause against Multan Sultans on Tuesday night here at the Dubai International Stadium.

“As long as you are justifying with your performance, whether you are senior or junior it doesn’t matter. As a senior player, if I am marking the criteria, I will continue with my performance. I am targeting World Cup 2019 and then I will see how it goes after that,” said.

But the biggest hurdle Hafeez will face in his bid to play in the World Cup is to get his bowling action cleared.He received a setback when he was not even allowed to bowl in the ongoing HBL PSL despite the fact that it is a domestic PCB event.

Hafeez said that his team — Peshawar Zalmi — tried its best to get a clearance for him but their plea was rejected by the PSL technical committee.“Our management went to the PSL committee to get permission for me to bowl in the tournament. I was very confident because (PCB’s) bowling review committee were happy with my remedial measures. But unfortunately, the PSL technical committee didn’t give me permission,” he said.

“I was expecting that I will get a chance to bowl in PSL but I accept the decision. I have applied for bowling test through PCB. I think they have talked with the ICC and I will go and take it whenever they call me,” he said.The ICC had suspended Hafeez from bowling in international cricket last November after declaring that his bowling action was illegal.

Speaking about his team’s 19-run loss against Multan on Tuesday, Hafeez said that Sohaib Maqsood single-handedly turned the game in Sultans’ favour with an unbeaten 85 from just 42 balls.

“Sohaib Maqsood played with the minds of the bowlers. He really executed himself and put our bowlers under pressure.“We missed our target as a bowling team. Sohaib was the difference. We were unable to continue momentum in the last three overs. Sohail Tanvir took it away from us with an excellent spell. Multan should be given due credit for the victory.”

Hafeez was confident that his team will bounce back in its next matches.“There is no excuse for the loss. We had planned it well and played four seamers knowing that there will be dew. Our execution of skill was lacking. We gave away too many full tosses in the last overs.

“But I’m confident that we will come back harder,” he said.“As a team we are very confident. We are working hard. There have been some injuries. Our captain is injured but we will give our best.”

Today’s Fixtures

Lahore Qalanders v Islamabad United

09:00 pm PST

Karachi Kings v Quetta Gladiators

04:30 pm PST

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