Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali will be looking to make a statement during the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE.
Hasan has declared Pakistan will be the favourites against India in the tournament in the absence of Virar Kohli, who is being rested.
The 24-year-old also said that he would like to perform his trademark ‘arms aloft’ wicket-celebration against India 10 times if possible.
And just to remind the opposition of what will be in store when he picks up a wicket, it looks like Hasan will be sporting a special pendant of his celebration on his necklace during the coming few weeks.
During the training camp in Lahore, Hasan was seen wearing the special jewellery and Pakistan fans will be hoping to see a lot of more of the real celebration throughout the month in the UAE.
During his interaction with the media, Hasan said he would have liked for Kohli to play in the Asia Cup.
“As a youngster, everybody wants to take Virat Kohli’s wicket but unfortunately he isn’t coming. The next time we compete, I will definitely try to take his wicket.”
Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez insisted he has not given up hopes of a comeback after rumours of imminent retirement.
Hafeez’s career received a setback on Tuesday as he was excluded from the squad for the Asia Cup in the UAE.
Pakistan went in for young opening batsman Shan Masood after the 37-year-old Hafeez didn’t get to play a single match in the five-ODI series against Zimbabwe.
Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said Hafeez remains part of Pakistan’s World Cup plans. “Hafeez is a part of the 20-22 players that we are considering for the World Cup. Hafeez is a good player and now he can bowl as well (after the ICC cleared his action). But, we have other options now,” Inzamam said.
Hafeez called a press conference in Lahore on Wednesday with many expecting a rant against the management or even his retirement announcement. But according to various reports from Pakistan, Hafeez received a call from the Pakistan board assuring him that he was still part of the team’s plans.
Rumours about retirement are all False, I am a fighter and wants to play for Pakistan again in future, says Mohammad Hafeez@MHafeez22 @DennisCricket_ #Pakistan #Cricket #PCB #Hafeez pic.twitter.com/zSvbWbGydD— Najeeb ul Hasnain (@get2najeeb) September 5, 2018
Hafeez went ahead with another presser in the evening, where he denied all rumours of his retirement.
“Whatever decision the stakeholders of Pakistan cricket take, I am with them. All rumours (about retirement) surrounding me are not true. I am available for Pakistan cricket,” Hafeez said.
“I am a fighter and will fight this scenario. I will play Qaid-e-Azam trophy and try to put in performances. selection is not in my hand,” he added.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s new chief Ehsan Mani has taken a tough stance when it comes to India, declaring that he will fight for Pakistan’s interest.
Talking about the challenges facing the Pakistan board vis-a-vis the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the legal battle over India’s failure to play bilateral cricket with his country, Mani said he will fight for his team but insisted Pakistan will no longer ask for matches.
“I will not request India to play with us. Their own policy has been contradictory, as they are ready to play multi-nation tournaments like Asia Cup and World Cup but have a different stance on bilateral arrangements,” Mani was quoted as saying.
“I never understood their positions… India’s influence is far greater (in ICC) but I will fight Pakistan’s corner.”
The Pakistan board is seeking damages to the tune of $70 million in lost revenues following the BCCI’s reluctance to play two series – in 2014 and 2015 – which was part of an agreement signed in 2014.
Mani also said one of his main targets was to bring in greater professionalism in the PCB’s structure as too much power lies in the hands of the chairman.
“Too much power is accorded to the chairman, which isn’t good practice,” Mani said. “Nowhere in the world does this happen so we have to tweak the constitution. Ideally professional teams run on a professional basis. The idea is to take Pakistan to the next level by professionalising the system.”
Mani has extensive administrative experience. He represented Pakistan at the ICC from 1996-2002 and was the ICC chief from 2003-2006.