Mohammad Hafeez has been one of cricket’s most durable men. The Pakistan all-rounder was 41 when he announced his retirement from the international game early this month.
His last match for Pakistan was the T20I was the semifinal against Australia in the World Cup at Dubai last November. He soon found himself playing in a tournament for the international cricketers.
Turning out for Asia Lions at the Legends League Cricket, he played a splendid cameo to help his side chase down a daunting target set by World Giants at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium here on Friday night. His 13-ball 27 was what the Lions needed after the second-wicket stand of 88 between the Sri Lankan duo of Tillakaratne Dilshan (52, 32b) and Upul Tharanga (63, 43b).
Shortly after his team scored a six-wicket win with four balls to spare, Hafeez said he was happy to be part of the league. “I personally enjoyed the game to play with the (former top) stars of world cricket,” he said.
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“Sharing the dressing room with them was really special. (As is) having World Cup winning Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga as a coach. As a child, I grew up watching him.”
He feels the league is a wonderful initiative. “I really want to congratulate the organisers on bringing (all the cricketers) under one roof,” he said. “As a fan I am very happy.”
Kevin O’Brien could not have been as happy, though. The Irish all-rounder’s 95 off 46 balls went in vain, as the Giants’ 205 for seven was overtaken by Lions.
“It was a very good wicket and I enjoyed batting out there,” said O’Brien. “The standard of cricket here is good. The batters are batting well and the bowlers are putting in good efforts.”