Things have not been going well for Pakistan cricket in the last three or four months. In the 2023 World Cup, Naseem Shah’s absence deeply affected Team Pakistan. Naseem, who recently participated in the Lanka Premier League, sustained an injury forcing him to withdraw from the World Cup 2023.
There is a lot of news circulating in the Pakistan cricket circuit, such as the NOC issues faced by Mohammad Haris and Haris Rauf, with the latter expressing a desire to retire. Furthermore, reports indicate that the Pakistan team director mentioned that Mohammad Hafeez blames players for not focusing on their national duty and prioritising league cricket. Additionally, PCB has rescheduled the ongoing trophy final due to the Sindh Premier League.
Let’s attempt to find answers to all these questions.
Mohammad Hafeez’s Statement over League Cricket
Media reports suggest that Mohammad Hafeez, the team director of Pakistan Cricket, met with the appointed interim chairman, Mr Shah Khawar. Hafeez stated that Pakistan players were not fully focused on their national duty but were instead paying attention to league cricket. This lack of focus adversely affected the performance of the Pakistan team, resulting in losses to Australia by 3-0 and New Zealand by 4-1.
Later on, the former captain and team director of Pakistan refuted the media propaganda, asserting that it was fake news. Furthermore, he stated that it was merely a paid social media campaign against him. Hafeez emphasised, “Pakistan is my passion.”
Mohammad Haris and Hairs Rauf’s issue regarding League Cricket
There have been rumours for the past two or three weeks that certain players Mohammad Haris being one of them recently are not happy about No Objection Certificate NOC issues. After being refused a (NOC) to play in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Mohammad Haris, the wicketkeeper-batsman for Pakistan, went home.
As allowed by the PCB, Haris participated in two international T20 competitions between July 2023 and July 2024 while initially assigned to the Chattogram Challengers team. In July and August of the previous year, he participated in the Global T20 Canada and the Lanka Premier League (LPL), playing for the Surrey Jaguars and B-Love Kandy, respectively.
Haris mentioned that he had arrived in Bangladesh early to prepare for the tournament but later discovered that the PCB had not issued an NOC for him. Media reports also suggest that Pakistan’s pace star, Haris Rauf, was considering retirement from international cricket due to criticism for not participating in the recently concluded Test series and instead opting to play in the Big Bash League (BBL) in the same country.
Therefore, the Pakistan Cricket Board should establish a fair and transparent policy regarding League Cricket; otherwise, there is a risk of witnessing players opting for international retirement, which could be detrimental to Pakistan.
PCB reschedule the final
On one side, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has restrictive policies regarding league cricket, but the organization itself prioritizes league cricket. The final schedule of the Pakistan Presented Trophy, a first-class tournament, has been delayed and rescheduled initially due to the Sindh Premier League (SPL) and later again due to the 2024 election in Pakistan. The President’s Trophy Final between SNPL and Wapda, originally scheduled for January 27 at the National Bank Cricket Arena, has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict with the SPL.