Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq expressed disappointment on being dropped for the semi-final against Sri Lanka by blasting captain Mohammad Hafeez for the ‘illogical’ decision prior to the knockout match.
Razzaq was dropped after a 17-ball 22 against Australia to make way for Sohail Tanvir in the playing-XI.
“Obviously, I was extremely disappointed,” Razzaq told Dunya News. “I wanted to perform for Pakistan and there couldn’t have been a better opportunity than the semi-final of such a big event. The decision was Hafeez’s.
"It was only him who decided to replace me with Tanvir. I fail to understand the logic behind the move and it is something only Hafeez can explain. Even Wasim Akram, who is the best cricketer ever, advised Hafeez to keep me in the team against Sri Lanka but he chose not to listen to the expert.
“I don’t understand why but he probably thinks he’s better and knows more than the legend of the game. My performances had been impressive but despite that Hafeez never took any of that into consideration and dropped me. The captain is supposed to take decisions that are in the best interest of the team but Hafeez chose to defy all logics and opted to drop me for the match. It was a disgraceful decision.”
Razzad added that members of the Sri Lanka team were relieved to see his name crossed out from the team-sheet.
“I talked to a couple of Sri Lankan players and they said that they feared my presence in the team. They were ecstatic when they heard about my exclusion.
"Watching from the sidelines, I thought it was an ideal situation for a batsman like me. I am confident I could have won the match for Pakistan if I was playing. I don’t know what Hafeez’s agenda was. If he thinks he is an expert of the game, he should be asked to justify the decision of dropping me because only he would know the logic behind it.”
On being asked about his future with the Pakistan cricket team, Razzaq said, “I am still physically fit. My fitness has never been a problem. I hope to continue playing for Pakistan for at least another two to three years.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2012.