Mohammad Hafeez breaks silence on spat with Sarfaraz

By Muhammad JuniadPublished On 23 Feb 2021

LAHORE: All-rounder Mohammad Hafeez on Tuesday broke silence over his Twitter spat with former Pakistan cricket captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, saying that he had no problems with him.

The Lahore Qalandars' batsman, who played an impressive knock yesterday to defeat the Quetta Gladiators, spoke about power hitting and improving his form.

"I asked the coach to send me at the one-down position," he said regarding the match. "I'm happy over yesterday's innings, would like to play my role according to the [team's] demand," the cricketer added

Hafeez said that he had decided after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 that he needed to focus on his batting technique, rather than "modern cricket".

"In other leagues, batsmen focus on hitting sixes. Hence, I decided to work on my power hitting," he said. Hafeez, an avid player of golf, said the sport helped him improve his batting a lot.

The Sarfaraz spat

In response to a question, the Lahore Qalandars star said he is always happy when junior players perform. "Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Rizwan are welcome additions to the squad," he said. "As a senior, I always support junior players."

Hafeez said that whether it be Sarfaraz or anyone else, whoever performed for the team, he would praise him. "Sarfaraz is as dear to me as other cricketers," he said. "I have never problems with any cricketer so far. I always praise everyone and never compete with a person."

Following the match between the Lahore Qalandars and the Quetta Gladiators, Pakistani fans started sharing Sarfaraz vs Hafeez memes on social media.

The two had been embroiled in a Twitter spat after Hafeez praised Rizwan and said that he was the number one wicketkeeper in Pakistan.

Hafeez had taken an indirect jibe at Sarfaraz when he tweeted to appreciate Rizwan for his ton against South Africa and said, “Congratulations @iMRizwanPak on scoring T20 hundred. U r a Star shining star Wonder how long u need to prove that u r NO1 wicketkeeper/Batsman in Pakistan in all formats of the game”.

This prompted a response from Ahmed who has not been included in the playing XI.

“Hafeez bhai Sb, whoever has played for Pakistan from Imtiaz Ahmed, Wasim Bari, Tasleem Arif to Saleem Yousuf and from Moin Khan, Rashid Latif to Kamran Akmal and even Rizwan right now has always been number ONE for the country and have been respected accordingly,” he tweeted to Hafeez.

“Aur ayende bhee jisko bhee chance milega wo Pakistan ke liye number ONE hee huga. (And whoever is given a chance to play would be no 1 for Pakistan)," Sarfaraz had said.

Following the dispute, a report stated that PCB officials were upset with Sarfaraz and Hafeez over their exchange.

However, in a later interview, Sarfaraz denied there were any hostilities between the two, saying that he had always respected Hafeez and would continue to do so.

"I have no complaints against Mohammad Hafeez," Sarfaraz had said during a virtual press conference on Thursday. "He is my elder, I have always respected him and will continue to do so," added Sarfaraz.