Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez in action. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP
Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez in action. Picture: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP

New Delhi — Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez says he will delay his retirement if the 2020 Twenty20 World Cup is postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

The 39-year-old former captain planned to end his 17-year international career after the World Cup in October but with hosts Australia labelling the tournament’s schedule as “very high risk” Hafeez is now ready to play on.

“I gave retiring from T20 cricket after the World Cup a lot of thought,” Hafeez said in a video conference. “I want to retire from T20 cricket after playing a big tournament in which I perform well, and hopefully go out on a winning note.

“This is my plan, and if the World T20 is postponed to November or some later time, that doesn’t mean I won’t play it.”

Hafeez quit Tests in late 2018 but remained active in limited-overs cricket and played the 50-overs World Cup in England in 2019. He was recalled to the Twenty20 squad for the home series against Bangladesh in January and has also been picked for Pakistan’s tour of England in August-September.

While there have been growing calls for Hafeez to call time on his career, he said he was still good enough for international cricket.

“I’m not going to quit cricket because someone asks me to, just like I never started playing at someone else’s behest,” he said. “I’ve spent the last 17 years justifying my selection, and I hope I’ll justify my selection again this time. All I’d like to say is — my career, my choice.”

Reuters