Hafeez demands more Tests for Pakistan
15 January, 2013
KARACHI: Pakistan player of the year Mohammad Hafeez wants his cricket board to schedule more Test matches for the national team. Pakistan are restricted after rival teams refused to tour the country following a gun attack on the Sri Lanka squad in 2009 but the national Twenty20 captain still believes more Tests are possible.
“I would ask the board to take up this issue and try to schedule more Test matches for us because I believe players only develop by playing Test matches," Hafeez told reporters here on Monday.
“It is unfortunate we get less Test matches. Last year we played three Tests in January and then three in June-July. Now we are going to South Africa. We will be playing Tests after a gap of nearly six months which is hard on us.” Pakistan whitewashed England in three Tests in January and February last year in their temporary home of the United Arab Emirates but lost in Sri Lanka in July and visit South Africa for three Tests next month.
“We need to play more Tests because I believe players can only develop in this format not through T20 cricket. The two good players we have found since 2010 are Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq and this is because they have done well in Tests,” Hafeez said. Hafeez also heaped praise on Pakistan's Test captain, Misbahul Haq for the team's consistent show in this format in the last two years despite some tough situations.
“Misbah has led the side maturely. And we have had the same nucleus of players in Tests. There has been stability and consistency in selection and that has helped a lot.” Insisting that the players deserved credit for adjusting well to all formats of the game, Hafeez said: “The good thing is our players have been playing international cricket and lot of four-day domestic cricket.”
Hafeez said that the tour to South Africa, where they will play three Tests followed by two T20 internationals and five one-dayers, is going to be a challenging one. “The tour to South Africa is a big challenge for us because since the last time we went there in 2007, lot of players have changed in the team. And they are now the number one Test side in the world. But I am confident we will put up a hard fight because our morale is high after good performances in recent times, most importantly on the tour to India,” he said.