On Tuesday, after he overtook K, veteran Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez silenced his critics. In Twenty20 internationals, L. Rahul will become the leading run-scorer in the calendar year 2020.
Hafeez, who scored a fast 29-ball 41 in Pakistan’s morale booster win against New Zealand on Tuesday in the third T20I against New Zealand, bagged 415 runs in the outgoing year, most by any team.
Hafeez scored 415 runs in 8 innings in 2020, according to ESPNCricinfo, followed by K. L. Rahul of India (404 runs in 10 innings) and Dawid Malan of England in 2020 (397 runs in 10 innings).
Hafeez is also now Pakistan’s joint-highest T20I run-getter ever. He and experienced all-rounder Shoaib Malik have both scored 2,323 runs to date, but in 115 matches, Malik reached the score, while in 99 matches, Hafeez reached the same milestone, the PCB said in a tweet.
Filled with admiration for his impressive numbers, 40-year-old Hafeez tweeted: Alhamdulillah, who is popularly regarded as Professor. The best planner is Allaah.
Hafeez had hit back at his detractors earlier this year who had doubted the inclusion of the former Pakistan captain in the squad for England’s August-September tour, saying he would retire on his own terms.
Since the day I made my international debut in 2003, this sort of reaction (criticism) has always been part of my cricketing life. Seventeen years later, perhaps little has changed since I come from a comparatively small town like Sargodha,’ Hafeez said at the time. And I worked to the best of my ability each time to prove the critics wrong. Whether legitimate or otherwise, feedback made me doubly motivated to perform. If someone decides that I’m not allowed to play [for Pakistan], that’s their personal view.
His comment came after Hafeez and fellow senior player Shoaib Malik were urged by former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja to retire from international cricket.
“In April, ex-opener Raja said, “They should leave international cricket with dignity and gracefully.
After sitting on the sidelines after last year’s World Cup in England, both Hafeez and Malik were recalled to the Pakistan squad for the T20 format in February.
Head coach and then-chief selector Misbahul Haq’s decision to recall them met with mixed reactions and many opposed the attempt to revert to the shorter style with senior players.
Hafeez had said that after the 2020 ICC Twenty20 World Cup he will retire from all international cricket and vowed to finish his career on a good note. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the T20 World Cup was delayed until next year.