Hafeez crucial to World Cup hopes: Latif

Former Pakistan captain also backed all-rounder’s decision to retire from Tests


Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes that all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez will be crucial to Pakistan’s 2019 World Cup hopes.   

While speaking in a video message, Latif — who played 37 Tests and 166 ODIs for Pakistan — said that the 38-year-old will play a key role for Men in Green during the World Cup in England and Wales.  

“Hafeez will be an important member of the team’s world cup squad,” said Latif. “His presence will have a good impact on the overall balance of the side.”

Latif also said that Hafeez made the right call about putting an end to his Test career.

“He took the right decision by announcing retirement from Test cricket,” he said. “He was facing technical issues in the longest format of the game.”

On Tuesday, struggling Pakistan opener Hafeez said that he was retiring from Test cricket after the ongoing third and final match against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi.

The 38-year-old has managed just 66 runs in seven innings since scoring a hundred against Australia in Dubai last month following his recall to five-day cricket.

The Abu Dhabi Test is Hafeez's 55th since making his debut against Bangladesh in Karachi in 2003. He has so far scored 3644 runs with ten hundreds and 12 half centuries.

"I feel time is up," said Hafeez. "I am announcing my retirement and feel happy that I worked hard in my career."