Lahore: Pakistan’s One-Day International (ODI) captain Azhar Ali and opener Mohammad Hafeez boycotted a fitness training camp on Thursday that also included spot-fixing tainted pacer Mohammad Amir.
Amir’s bid to make a comeback to the national side was given a major boost last week after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) inducted the fast bowler in a camp for 26 players which also includes T20 captain Shahid Afridi.
The board on Wednesday issued a statement backing Amir’s return to the national set-up saying “even Islam calls for forgiveness in such cases.”
But PCB’s efforts to reintegrate the pacer back into the side received a setback after Ali and Hafeez failed to “report to the camp” at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.
“Hafeez and Azhar Ali attended the camp in the morning but have not reported back,” PCB media manager Agha Akbar was quoted as saying by The Dawn on Thursday.
Azhar publicly opposed Amir’s inclusion.
“We will not take part in a camp which also includes Amir. We will not back down on our stance but are willing to discuss the matter with PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan,” Azhar was quoted as saying by Geo News earlier.
In November, Hafeez turned down an offer from Chittagong Vikings to feature in the Bangladesh Premier League as the franchise had already signed Amir.
Earlier this month, former captain and ambassador of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Ramiz Raja, criticised PCB’s sympathy for Amir.