October 30, 2013

'Being honest is one of my big weaknesses'

Interview by Umar Farooq
Mohammad Hafeez chats about his leadership style, his batting form, and his love for cars

We heard you started a construction business.
It's my brother who started it. I am just a brand ambassador. But I am a better cricketer than a businessman.

Do you think you have leadership qualities?
I am captaining in the domestic level over the last ten years and leading the Pakistan T20 side for one and a half years. It's a learning process. You learn every day and earn experience.

Were you always able to lead?
Actually right from my childhood I always loved to contribute from the front to make a difference. I don't know if it was a leadership thing in me but I have been this way since my early days in cricket.

What is your weakness?
Speaking the truth and being honest, I have realised, is one of my key weaknesses.

Do you also have a weakness against quality seam bowling?
As an opener you are always out there facing fresh bowlers and fresh pitches. So yes, someone might have felt that I struggle, but I can say this: every day I try to work on my technique. It's good to be analysed, but I don't think it really is one of my weaknesses.

As a batsman, are you afraid of facing any bowler?
No. I never had any fear in my mind. I only have a fear of God in my heart.

Do you have any secrets?
What secrets? I don't have any. I am a simple person. Whatever I am from the inside is a true reflection of what you see outside. So there is no secret to share.

How keenly do you follow your religion?
I try to do my best and follow it. Wherever I can, I push myself into it. And a lot of my success is mainly because of this.

Do you think you are a safe Test prospect?
There is no doubt at all. I believe a team should be made up of the best players. The selectors thought I am not the best so they moved on without me. It's a challenge for me to get back into the side.

Did you know you were going to be dropped when you played your final innings, against Zimbabwe?
I never had such feelings in my life, thinking that something bad is going to happen and starting to rue it. I have always taken every innings as my last so that I can deliver my best.

Who is your best friend in the dressing room?
Misbah. Because we debuted in domestic cricket together and he is the one with whom I have shared the dressing room a lot for regional, departmental, and international teams.

You are a man of taste when it comes to cars.
Well, yes, I love to spend on my family and me. Apart from cars, I also follow fashion.

Name a player who didn't listen to you in dressing room?
I am enjoying high respect as a captain, probably because I respect everyone. But yes, as a captain you have to manage a lot of things, things that sometimes are unmanageable.

Do you cook?
Not really, but I love eating different kinds of food. My wife doesn't allow me into the kitchen. She cooks so well and her cooking always improves my mood.

Do you watch movies?
Yes, mostly Bollywood but randomly and not very keenly because of my busy cricketing routine.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CricketFever11 on November 1, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Honesty is not a weakness mate... It is an expensive gift. This is the difference of attitudes between Legends and average players.......

  • cricfan01159554 on October 31, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    Apart from mocking his 'honesty is weakness' comment. It should be acknowledged that he has contributed decently both with his performances and as a disciplined and a respectable individual, inspite of all the limitations at a very critical time of Pakistan cricket life.

    Performing decently with average talent is also a very important attribute.

  • dummy4fb on October 31, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    @Daniel, no doubt that Misbah is a best Pakistani player currently and takes them out of trouble almost every time he comes to bat. But he alone cant win matches, a young player like Umar Akmal should improve the game and become good finishers...

  • Daniel_Cartwright on October 31, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @Mohammed Kamaluddin, oh yes, and all it takes to PRODUCE a player is just the production of one right? magically?.. Misbah is the best pakistani captain ever and the best batsman pakisan has produced since Saeed Anwar, Inzi was a match winner in 1992 and thats about it. Your cricket analysis is poor.

  • dummy4fb on October 31, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    I think biggest weakness of Pakistan after Inzamam left is they lack a match winner. Misbah is a good player but not a good finisher or match winner. Pakistan should produce a player like Virat Kohli, who can stay till end and take the side to finishing line.

  • Ray24 on October 31, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Your biggest weakness is that you over estimate your ability and block the way of more talented cricketers. Be a sport and quit test cricket, when mediocre players play regularly, the standard of the team becomes mediocre. And then mediocrity start competition with mediocrity and calls themselves accomplished when they score once in a blue moon. Pakistan has enough talent, please allow it to appear and flourish.

  • OverDcovers on October 31, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    I am surprised at the caption of this article-Honesty as a weakness????? Just goes to show this "Limited Talented-More Lucky" guy's mindset! He is an average club level cricketer that we get in Pakistan, but purely due to luck he has played so much International cricket mainly due to the fact (again luck factor) that during most of his era Pakistan lacked quality International stuff except Younus Khan. He is actually batsman who is a useful bowler as well and fact of the matter remains that he is a failure with the bat! Evidently scared of Dale Styn and yet insists that he should be in Test team. Infact he is just a T20 Material where there are normally no slip cordon and one can play most ridiculous shots and be popular. Him and Misbah have always prefered 'Obedient, Meak players' with limited talent so they remain grateful to these 2. He alongwith Misbah is equally responsible for the pathetic and quality less state of Pakistani cricket team!

  • Simba007 on October 31, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    Pakistan was unable to produce any proper openers after the combination of Saeed Anwar and Amir Sohail. Hafeez has been a false hope and for some reason Pakistan never got rid of him.I can see he follows the fashion very well but plzz don't ask him how good he plays the swing bowlers. This guy is the biggest flop as far as opening is concerned. He should concentrate on his bowling and fielding and bat at lower middle order. By the Way, after today's performance, PCB should fire all Pakistani players and put their under 25 team against South Africa. They will have more guts to achieve such a modest total. For Pakistani Fans, this is a SAD Day!

  • rocket123 on October 31, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    Please be honest to urself, ur fans and ur country. Do not just say it. What you did today in ODI against SA, is your best and within your talent. You can not do better than this. Please accept in all honesty. Thanks, a common Pakistani.

  • dummy4fb on October 30, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    His biggest weakness is speaking the truth and being honest. I guess he's right. Because if he was being honest here he would say: 1. Facing below avg bowler on a sporting pitch.

    He's a bits and pieces player that has performed in bits and pieces. 20-30 avg when given a long run. Pakistan and Misbah should realize he's not good enough to play at the int'l level. On with the youth.

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