Sports: Cricket: Confident but Tests would be tough: Hafeez

Karachi: After beating India in the ODI series recently, Pakistani all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez said the team is confident ahead of the comprehensive South African tour but the Test matches would be a hard nut to crack for the team.

“We have played only six Test matches last year and for around six months we haven’t played one. The meagre encounters in the format last year would make it a bit difficult for us to perform well in the coming series,” Mohammad Hafeez, who heads the team in T20 format, told reporters here Monday at National Stadium.

Pakistan is scheduled to tour South Africa where they would play three Test matches, two T20s and five ODIs from 1st February to 24th March.

He requested the Pakistan Cricket Board to arrange more Tests for the team as Test matches helps players in establishing their game. “It is actually Test matches, which actually help players develop their game.”

However, Hafeez said that the team is confident after recently returning from a successful campaign from India, where the visitors defeated the archrivals 2-1 in the three-match ODI series and the two-match T20 series earlier ended in a 1-1 draw.

“The team is confident of doing well in South Africa after successfully campaigning in India. The morale is high to perform in South Africa as well,” he added.

Hafeez praised the PCB for organizing PCB awards saying that such awards would help in motivating players.

“These awards would motivate the players to perform and each player would try to outperform others to reach to the podium at the year end. I think it is a good step.”

Hafeez also said that Pakistan Super League would help in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan.

The event would begin from 23rd March. Five teams, comprising of five local players and six international players, will play each other twice on pattern of the football leagues and role-model IPL.

No international Test cricket team has played in Pakistan after terrorists attacked Lankan cricket team in March 2009.