Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has echoed the sentiments of several ex-Pakistan cricketers and has stated that the Indian side did not play with intent in their game against England. Hafeez further stated that as a fan, he felt bad for the sport watching India show no intent against England.
On the back of the accusations made by Ben Stokes in his book, where he claimed that he was baffled by the lack of intent India showed in the game against England in the World Cup last year, several ex-Pakistan cricketers, recently, claimed that the Men in Blue lost the game on purpose to knock Pakistan out of the tournament. While Stokes himself clarified that he never accused India of deliberately throwing the match away, a platoon of former Pakistan cricketers have, however, continued to hurl accusations and this even invoked a strong response from commentator Aakash Chopra.
Now, the latest Pakistan cricketer to join the brigade to attack India is all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who has claimed that he did not see any intent or spirit from the Indian side in the England bout. Hafeez, however, admitted that Pakistan, who finished fifth, were to blame for their own fate.
"Ask any cricket fan, everyone will say intent to play with spirit was not there. I don't know about the results and who went out because of that. We played good cricket and we were out because of our small mistakes. So I can't blame any result for that," Hafeez said during a video conference organised by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), reported Times Now.
Hafeez, who has made his intentions of retiring from international cricket post the 2020 WT20 clear, claimed that watching the India vs England game as a fan made him feel bad, as he felt that the integrity of the sport was compromised due to India’s lack of intent to win the game.
"But as a fan, if I see the match, I did not see the match-winning intent. I felt bad for the sport. The encounter factor was missing where both teams were playing to win. The mistakes we made, we failed to tick a few boxes in the 2019 World Cup. But as a fan, that is my opinion about that game.”
Having made his debut in 2003, Hafeez, in his 17-year-long international career, has made a staggering 364 appearances for Pakistan.