Mohammad Hafeez is a Pakistani cricket player, who plays all forms of the game and a former T20I captain of Pakistan cricket team. Hafeez usually opens the batting and forms part of the bowling attack. In 2012–2013, he was ranked as the top all-rounder by the ICC Player Rankings in T20 format. He is known for his intelligent batting but also for aggressive shot plays when needed. He was involved in record opening partnership of 224 runs with Nasir Jamshed. As a player, Hafeez gives the team plenty of options: he usually bats aggressively at the top of the order, but his organised technique also means he can switch to defensive mode if required. As a bowler, he bowls fast and flat for a spinner, but often used as an economical bowler to restrict run rates, while getting through his overs quickly.
Here are 7 amazing facts about him
Early international career:
- Pakistani selectors were looking for several young all-rounders following their poor display in 2003 World Cup where Pakistan was out of the competition after the first round. Hafeez’s ODI debut was against Zimbabwe at Sharjah in April 2003. He earned a Test debut against Bangladesh at Karachi in August 2003 scoring his maiden Test hundred at Peshawar in the 2nd Test of the 3-match series.
First ODI Hundred and Test return:
In the 2006 series held in Australia, Hafeez smashed his 1st century for Pakistan. Being recalled for the tour of England, his return to Test cricket was at The Oval where he scored an elegant 95. He retained his place in the Test squad for Pakistan’s home series against the West Indies that year. After getting out early despite good starts in the first 2 Tests, he went on to score his 2nd Test century in the 3rd Test in Karachi. However his form remained inconsistent and he was unable to get a regular place in either the Test or ODI side from 2003 to 2009.
The comeback in 2010:
In 2010 he was recalled for the third ICC World Twenty20 squad. His form was poor scoring only 39 runs and taking only 2 wickets in 6 matches. However he was subsequently selected for the T20Is and the ODIs on Pakistan’s 2010 tour of England. He was the second highest Pakistani run-scorer in the ODI series.
A memorable series against the Proteas:
The ODI series against South Africa in the UAE was a brilliant series for him. Playing in all 5 ODIs he ended up as Pakistan’s top run scorer with 203 runs also topping the bowling averages for the series. At the end of 2010 he was also selected to tour New Zealand and the West Indies thus establishing himself as a regular in the Test, ODI and T20 teams.
The incredible year 2011:
In 2011 he won an amazing 10 Man-of-the-Match awards in all forms of international cricket and became only the 3rd player (after Sanath Jayasuriya and Jacques Kallis) to score 1000 runs and take 30 wickets in ODI matches within a calendar year.
The 2012 Asia Cup, Bangladesh:
Pakistan lifted the Asia cup for the 1st time since the year 2000 and Hafeez was his team’s highest run-scorer. He scored 245 runs from 4 matches at an average of 61.25 with 1 half-century and 1 century. His top score being 105 against arch-rivals India; albeit in a losing cause. Pakistan went on to beat hosts Bangladesh by 2 runs in a dramatic final and Hafeez’s contribution proved vital to his team’s cause; he scored 40 runs and bowled 10 tight overs conceding just 30 runs as his team defended a score of 239 runs.
Hafeez has captained Pakistan in a solitary Test match against Sri Lanka at Galle; a match which the islanders won by a margin of 209 runs. He captained Pakistan in 29 T20I winning 18 and losing 11 matches. He led his country in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. The hosts beat Pakistan in the semi-final by 16 runs. Hafeez was his team’s top scorer with 42 off 40 balls however Pakistan failed to overhauls the target of 139 set by the home side.As a captain, he led Pakistan to victories over South Africa, West indies, the T20I world champions and Zimbabwe. He equalled the record of most wins as a Pakistani captain in T20Is and most number of away series wins as a Pakistani captain. Under his leadership, Pakistan managed to move up to the 2nd position in the ICC T20I team rankings. He also became the 1st Pakistani captain to hit 3 fifties in a row and is Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in T20Is. After Pakistan’s exit from the 2014 T20I World Cup he apologized to fans on behalf of his team and stepped down as captain.
He had undergone bowling action test at an ICC-accredited lab in Chennai on July 6, 2015 after his action was reported following the 1st Test against Sri Lanka at Galle in June, 2015. He has been banned from bowling in international cricket for 12 months after his action was found to be illegal for the second time since November 2014. He will be able to have his action reassessed by the ICC only after he completes the ban.