Veteran all-rounder, Mohammad Hafeez, has been excluded from Pakistan’s T20I squad due to his prior commitments in the Abu Dhabi T10 League. Hafeez was unable to travel back to Pakistan to join the bio-secure bubble by February 3, 2021. Hence, he had to be dropped, keeping in view the COVID-19 protocols.
According to sources, Hafeez is heartbroken at the scenario and claimed that he always prioritizes playing for his country over franchise leagues. Hafeez responded to his exclusion on Twitter with a cryptic message.
إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ٢:١٥٣
“Indeed ALLAH is with the patient” pic.twitter.com/ff1VLMpmwv
— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) January 31, 2021
There have been alternate reports regarding the whole scenario. According to a source within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Hafeez had sent an e-mail to the PCB disclosing that he will be unavailable for the T20I series between Pakistan and South Africa due to his prior commitments.
The e-mail was sent before the first T20I between Pakistan and New Zealand on December 18, 2020.
The source disclosed that Hafeez sent an e-mail around December 15 and said that he would not be able to take part in the T20I series due to his commitment to the Abu Dhabi T10 League. The source revealed that PCB tried to convince Hafeez to join the bio-secure bubble by February 3, but Hafeez declined.
Players cannot be allowed to join the bio-secure bubble after the deadline of February 3, according to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the cricketing authorities of Pakistan and South Africa.
The T20I series between Pakistan and South Africa is scheduled to be played on 11, 13, and 14 February at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.