South Africa v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Bloemfontein

Misbah rubbishes reports of rift with Hafeez

Firdose Moonda

March 9, 2013

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Mohammad Hafeez is congratulated on Kumar Sangakkara's wicket, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Pallekele, June 9, 2012
Misbah-ul-Haq: "People who are putting out those stories [of a rift] should be ashamed. The team is like a family" © Getty Images
Related Links

Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has denied reports of a rift with Twenty20 leader Mohammad Hafeez ahead of the five-match ODI series against South Africa.

The Pakistan media alleged the pair had been involved in a verbal altercation during the warm-up match against the South African Invitation XI in Kimberley on Wednesday. Hafeez was not part of the playing XI in that game, which the tourists won in the last over, by just one wicket. Some publications claimed the main event was not the victory but a disagreement between the two players.

The main issue of contention was apparently Hafeez's position in the batting order. According to reports, Misbah wants Hafeez to bat at No. 3 while Hafeez wants to open, and Misbah is in favour of playing two allrounders - Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik - while Hafeez wants more bowlers.

Misbah refuted all those claims. He called it "irresponsible and baseless" reporting, and said the team had laughed at the suggestions of infighting. "People who are putting out those stories should be ashamed of that. The team is like a family, we are playing here like a family, we all support each other and there is nothing wrong."

He also said such allegations tend to emerge "whenever we lose a few games", as was the case in the Test series, and performances like their Twenty20 one would quell the chorus. "That [the T20 win] was really good for us and brought back a lot of confidence for the batsmen," Misbah said.

Pakistan's management also moved swiftly to dismiss the assertions. Team manager Naved Cheema said the reports were part of a conspiracy to destabilise the team: "It has become a common practice to launch a propaganda campaign against the team by targeting players ahead of an important event, but the team management is fully aware of the situation and is determined to defy all such moves in the larger interest of the Pakistan team and cricket. Our aim is to take Pakistan cricket higher with our team playing quality cricket and producing positive results."

The PCB issued a statement rubbishing the claims as well yesterday. The statement said: "[In view of] reports in a few media outlets that there was supposedly a disagreement amongst the think tank of Team Pakistan, in particular between skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez, with regards to the selection of the ODI XI, the PCB high-ups launched a thorough inquiry. The team management was contacted in South Africa and it was discovered that no such disagreement whatsoever existed amongst the think tank, or between Misbah and Hafeez. It is therefore stated for record that all such isolated reports in the media are baseless … and an attempt to demoralise the team."

Meanwhile, Misbah was upbeat about his team's chances in the one-day series and said they would rely on their spinners to keep South Africa tied down. "Our spinners are world-class and can really bowl well in any sort of conditions, especially in ODI games where we have to restrict the opposition by bowling dot balls," he said. "In the one-day format, we can always put up a good show. South Africa are a good side, but they will find it a little difficult in this format."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

RSS Feeds: Firdose Moonda

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 16:17 GMT)

What do you expect from this Pakistani team? This is happening time and again.. Cricketers value their egos more than the team.Some of the team members have agreed infront of an enquiry committee for non performing on purpose.These rifts even if true,doesnt surprise me.Sad state of affairs ...

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 16:12 GMT)

Its high time PCB ditched Afridi and brought in someone in the mould of razzaq.. Too many batting opportunities have been wasted by afridi with his careless swings.. The fact that he quit test cricket because of his impatience at the crease speaks a lot about his attitude!!

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 7:27 GMT)

If Hafiz thinks after a big score in the T20, he has become big enough to lead Pakistan, he is dreaming too fast. Prove in all format then talk big. But I support the idea on one of old horses, Malik and Afridi, not both. Need effective bowlers than useless all rounders.

Posted by AdeelTheDeal on (March 10, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

I am not Misbah fan but if you compare the statistics of Misbah and Hafeez then Misbah appears to be the winner in all format. As far as Misbah is fit to play, let him play but no doubt Pakistan future is secure. InshaAllah we will win.

Posted by Crick_Chater on (March 10, 2013, 5:44 GMT)

Old saying goes true for Pak Team, U can't teach an old horse a new trick. What good would it do to still play with Misbah, Shoaib, Younas, Farhat and to some extent withAfridi except for some short term positives. After fumbling in the Test Series, where Pakistan experimented in the wrong department( I meant bowling), I hope things turn around for Pakistan.

Pakistan thrust with old timers is a myopic stance. It may improve our rating in the present but may prove devastating for our cricket going forward.

Coach whatmore, take a note! Go with young guns, be it at the cost of undesired results in the near future.

Bye the way did any one notice Misbah's and Hafeez's objectionable playing tactics against India in big games. Just watch the last game between Indian and Pakistan and see how Misbah gave a catch in the leg slip only after when Indians put a man there. His world cup game was very unbecoming of him so was of Hafeez in the T20 against India. Need comments from every one

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 5:02 GMT)

they want to play imran farhat?? oh Lord... are you that pathetic of a batting lineup that we have to stoop down to such players...why Lord why??

Posted by   on (March 10, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

Mishap Misbah's exclusion may settle many issues as he has been playing only because he is the captain. But Hafeez has to move to number 5 or 6 so that he only getaway to play an older ball so that he can contribute with 15-20 runs.

Posted by Desihungama on (March 9, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Well, First off Misbah is Right. Hafeez should drop down to No. 3. And doesn't he know it really not matters as others pointed out he will only have to wait 2-3 overs at most. Good to see a feel of the wicket from outside too.

Posted by   on (March 9, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

south africa will win the series by 5-0 and if hafeez lead the team after 3 matches then the final result could b like 4-1

Posted by   on (March 9, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

What results ODI series will bring?

Posted by bouncer1021 on (March 9, 2013, 20:25 GMT)

Why fight over no 3 position? With Akmal opening, its only a differece of 2-3 openner. There is no place for Misbah and Shoib and may be Yonus Khan in ODI with players like Asad, Umer Akmal and Ahemed Shezad on the bench. Shoib Malik is not an all rounder, he is a bowler who can't bat in these tracks and now he doesen't remember how to bowl because he's been trying to learn how to bat for last 10 years...Ajmal's copy. Bowling unit should not be messed with. Gul, Junaid and Irfan are the best choices right now.

Posted by mzm149 on (March 9, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

If that altercation really happened, Misbah is right in playing Hafeez at No. 3 and Hafeez is right in bringing more bowlers as compared to having both Malik and Afridi. In my opinion there should be a proper batsman like Asad Shafiq instead of Malik because we already have 3 spinners and 3 pacers.

Posted by agent001 on (March 9, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

It is not uncommon in Pakistan cricket for an established player to under perform to get his skipper in hot waters. Hafeez may have done this in the Test to Misbah what other like Waseem Akram and corrupt opener Butt others have done to their captains.

Posted by agent001 on (March 9, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

The numbers speaks for themselves. Misbah should let go of the ODIs and Hafeez a total failure in Test should stay with the ODIs and T20. Hafeez should not open in the ODI and should let KAkmal or someone else in form do the opening. After this series Younis should retire from ODI and stay with Misbah in the Tests format only. Ahmed Shahzad should have been kept for the ODI ahead of Imran Farhat. Poor selection of medium pacers with no swing, seam or pace in the recent Tests should not be repeated.

Posted by   on (March 9, 2013, 16:58 GMT)

it seems to be true it happens in pak cricket

Posted by Crick_Expert on (March 9, 2013, 16:47 GMT)

Misbah and Younis should say BYE to ODI/T20 now. Afridi or Hafeez should be new CAPT, PAK team should add Haris Shoail, Ahmed Shahzad, Raza Hasan.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (March 9, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

1)Nasir 2)Iimran Farhat 3)Hafeez 4)Younis 5) K. Akmal 6)Misbah 7) Afridi 8)U. Akmal 9) Sohaib 10)Junaid 11) Irfan

Spin Bowlers: Hafeez, Afridi, Shoaib

Fast Bowlers: Junaid, Irfan

Posted by Sports4Youth on (March 9, 2013, 16:14 GMT)

In the list provided below you can clearly see that Sami, Gul & W.Riaz are at the bottom of the list. This list has been sorted average wise in FC matches. Though these guys may be the fastest in pakistan but their performances are rock bottom. How can they keep getting selected in test matches ?

Somehow, SADAF HUSSAIN is invisible to the selectors. According to me in the first class level if he is miles ahead of Riaz & Gul then he will certainly perform better in the test level also, this we can see from the performance of Junaid Khan. But something is seriously wrong in the selection process. One thing is clear that in Pakistan performance at the domestic level does not matter to the selectors. While if you look at SA, they selected VERNON PHILANDER based on his domestic performance, though his pace is under130 kph. And the results are there for everyone to see. Guys like Sadaf, Samiullah, Rahat, Rameez can be like philander.


Posted by Sports4Youth on (March 9, 2013, 15:27 GMT)

- - Name - - - - - Age -Wickets - AVG.(FC) - - Wickets/Avg (Tests)

Sadaf Hussain - - (23) -- 171 - 17.43

Samiullah Khan -- (30) -- 373 - 18.79

Ehsan Adil - - - - (19) -- 059 - 18.94

Rahat Ali - - - - (24) -- 152 - 21.01

Junaid Khan - - - (23) -- 246 - 21.86 - - - - - 29 - 28

M. Rameez - - - (23) -- 166 - 22.06

Bilawal Bhatti - - (21) -- 204 - 22.13

Imran Khan - - (25) -- 205 - 22.54

Asad Ali - - - - - (24) -- 355 - 22.87

Nasrullah Khan-(28) -- 188 - 23.02

Yasir Arafat - -- (30) -- 752 - 24.22

Riaz Afridi - - - - (28) -- 328 - 24.60

M. Irfan - - - - - (30) -- 131 - 26.23

Anwar Ali - - - - (25) -- 260 - 27.46

Wahab Riaz - - - (27) -- 320 - 28.19 - - - -- 17 - 34.11

Umar Gul - - - - (29) -- 326 - 28.26 - - - - 162 - 34.06

M. Talha - - - (24) -- 239 - 28.3

M. Sami - - - (32) -- 479 - 29.28 - - - - 85 - 52.74

Pakistan should stop running after pace, & start picking performers. ESPNcricinfo please publish.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (March 9, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

How can hafeez create rift in ODI and Test Team selection? Misbah has all the right to play the team he wants and hafeez should co-operate with him in every sense. if captain wants him to play at no.3 he should play at that number. PCB Management should make sure that hafeez or anyone in team are not allowed to play any politics. If they are not showing team spirit and sportsman spiriti they should be dealt very harshly. His Performance in test was horrible anyway. Pakistan lost test series not because of only misbah's captaincy it was failure of all.

Posted by Sports4Youth on (March 9, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

@ ICCexpert --> Pakistan was in need of preparing for the WC 2015 since the last 2 years atleast. But they appear to be sleeping over the issue. The way things are moving at the moment, it appears that they are planning to play Misbah & Younis for the next world cup. From the selection one thing is clear that there is absolutely no planning for the next world cup. At this rate Pakistan will finish last at the next world cup.

Posted by   on (March 9, 2013, 14:56 GMT)

historically the 2 captain in different format has not worked for pakistan. Recent past examples: younas - afridi, then afridi - salman butt reports, then afridi - misbah, then misbah - hafeez now.

Reason is that almost 80-90% team remains same with captains change. misbah should also perform with bat to justify his place in odi.

Posted by   on (March 9, 2013, 14:54 GMT)

well in media the reason for rift/argument was different. they reported sources that misbah complained that few players dont perform under his captaincy ( may be referring to Hafeez, gul, malik as in india tour ).

the reasons here if true, then misbah is right. hafez is weak against new ball even on india tour he mostly got out. so he should not open. plus kamran akmal is worst batsman down the order than he is at top so he should open.

Posted by ICCexpert.... on (March 9, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

Misbah needs to retire and so Hafeez was a total failure in SA. Pakistan need to groom in younsters like, Ahmad Shahzad, Raza Hasan, Zia-ul-haq, Hammad Azam, Ali Waqas, Asad Ali, Sadaf, Haris Sohail, Jamal Anwar, Anwar Ali... etc. Make a team for 2015 world cup.

Posted by KingUzzy on (March 9, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

This series doesn't mean anything after humiliating defeat in tests, waiting for SA's return UAE tour. .

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Firdose MoondaClose
Tour Results
South Africa v Pakistan at Benoni - Mar 24, 2013
South Africa won by 6 wickets (with 36 balls remaining)
South Africa v Pakistan at Durban - Mar 21, 2013
Pakistan won by 3 wickets (with 8 balls remaining)
South Africa v Pakistan at Johannesburg - Mar 17, 2013
South Africa won by 34 runs
South Africa v Pakistan at Centurion - Mar 15, 2013
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 28 balls remaining) (D/L method)
South Africa v Pakistan at Bloemfontein - Mar 10, 2013
South Africa won by 125 runs
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days