'Depends on the will of a player' - Mohammad Hafeez comes hard at Pakistan pacers citing workload management

"It is essential to manage the work of fast bowlers, but it doesn’t mean that he will bowl only four overs," said Hafeez.

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Mohammed Hafeez
Mohammed Hafeez. (Photo source: X(Twitter)

Former Pakistan batter Mohammad Hafeez has criticised the decision by Pakistan's bowlers to prioritise workload management during his stint as team director. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently announced the end of Hafeez's tenure, just three months after his appointment. He expressed disdain for the concept of workload management, which has become prevalent in cricket due to the demanding international schedule and participation in various T20 leagues worldwide. He stated that during his playing days, such considerations were not prevalent.

Although he did not specifically name players, it is speculated that bowlers like Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi might have been the players in question. Rauf withdrew from the recent Australia Tests, while Afridi was rested for the final match of the Test series; both had cited workload concerns. Pakistan's series against Australia ended in a disappointing 0-3 whitewash, which had raised questions about the team's strategies and player management.

"I have played cricket for 18 years, but this is something we never heard in our days. It depends on the will of a player. If he wants to play, he will; otherwise, he will talk about his workload. I was with the team for two months, and it was difficult for me to understand the workload management. It is essential to manage the work of fast bowlers, but it doesn’t mean that he will bowl only four overs," said Hafeez in a discussion with A Sports.

Also Read: Shaheen Afridi questions PCB's timing to terminate Haris Rauf's central contract

Hafeez cites Shamar Joseph’s example to school Pakistan pacers

Hafeez further highlighted the case of young West Indies pacer Shamar Joseph to challenge the necessity of workload management in cricket. Joseph's remarkable feat saw him bowl 12 consecutive overs in the second Test against Australia despite a toe injury sustained earlier. The 24-year-old's exceptional performance of 7 for 68 played a pivotal role in the West Indies' historic eight-run victory at the Gabba. Hafeez used this instance to question the prevalent notion of workload management in the sport.

"Your practice and training should be hard enough to help you execute your plans in the game. When a batter scores a 100, 150 or 200, he doesn’t say that he is done and won’t carry on. Shamar Joseph bowled 12 overs on the trot. Thank God, the word workload management was not in his mind," Hafeez added.

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