Out to play good cricket: Hafeez
By S S Shreekumar | ENS | Published: 24th December 2012 12:14 PM |
Pakistan’s skipper Mohammad Hafeez and their Manager Naved Akram Cheema are delighted that India-Pakistan cricket is back on track after 2007. But on the other hand, their former captain Imran Khan, also a politician now, told a television channel that “cricket is not important, political issues like Kashmir are more important.” Asked for their their reaction to Imran Khan’s statement, Naved only tried to downplay it.
“We have come here to play cricket. We will be delighted if India tours Pakistan also. I assure we are here to win your hearts,” Naved stated.
Surely, Pakistan’s cricket would surely do without someone of the stature of Imran Khan mixing cricket and politics at this juncture. On the forthcoming series, Hafeez said that as a skipper his main aim would be to “motivate his team not to buckle under pressure”. “India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a far more experienced captain than me and Misbah-ul Haq. But having said that every captain has to face challenges. My aim will be to see that my side plays without any pressure and express themselves as much they can,” Hafeez said.
“Pakistan is here to play good cricket and winning and losing doesn’t make any difference to the side. Cricket playing nations’ refusal to tour Pakistan for whatever reasons has deprived us from hosting any international matches for the last three years. I hope that cricket will return to Pakistan soon,” Hafeez said.
“We wish cricket returns to Pakistan soon and some of our youngsters get a chance to play in front of home crowds,” he added.
The relations between the Indian cricket board and Pakistan Cricket Board is fast improving and both nations should play more for the betterment of cricket,” Hafeez opined. “We have no issues with the security arrangements in India and we love touring the country. This will remain in this series as well,” he added.
Talking of veteran Shahid Afridi’s chances of making a comeback into Pakistan’s ODI squad, Hafeez said the two Twenty20 games against India will be vital for the dashing batsman. “Afridi is a tough guy and I am sure he will wriggle out of the crisis. He is taking it positively and as a challenge. His preparation for the Twenty20 matches is excellent,” he said.
“I myself have worked really hard from 2007 when I was out of the team and made a comeback. Now things have started to work for me. I would try to achieve more for my country,” the skipper signed off.