Pakistan cricketer Mohammad Hafeez said he will delay his retirement plans from the limited overs format game if the ICC World T20 scheduled in Australia, later this year, is postponed. Hafeez said that he wants to retire from T20 cricket after playing a big tournament. The T20 World Cup 2020 is slated to be played in Australia from October 18 to November 15, however, the fate of the tournament hangs in the balance due to the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions throughout the world.
“I gave retiring from T20 cricket after the World Cup a lot of thought. Just like when I retired from Test cricket, I decided to retire on my own terms. It took into consideration my own goals, as well as the interests of Pakistan cricket,” said Hafeez in a video conference.
“I want to retire from T20 cricket after playing a big tournament in which I perform well, and hopefully go out on a winning note. This is my plan, and if the World T20 is postponed to November or some later time, that doesn’t mean I won’t play it,” he added.
Earlier, Australia’s Sports Minister Richard Colbeck had said that the country is still hopeful going ahead with the tournament. He further said that the federal government is still planning to host the tournament and the response to coronavirus in the country has led to optimism about hosting the tournament.
“The Federal Government continues to work closely with the Local Organising Committee and state governments on planning for the Men’s T20 World Cup. Our decisive response to the pandemic and the nation’s ability to flatten the curve of the virus has resulted in the roll-out of a three-step framework for a COVID safe Australia. This has included the staged return of sport at all levels,” said Colbeck
However, the Minister said that if the showpiece event goes ahead as planned, then the spectator numbers may come down due to the possible restrictions in different states and territories.
“It will not be without obvious precautions. Australian states and territories are responsible for implementing arrangements regarding the resumption of sport in each jurisdiction. This may result in restrictions on spectator numbers – but in what capacity is not yet clear.
We remain committed to the implementation and support of measures to keep players and spectators safe. Any decision in relation to the tournament is ultimately a matter for the ICC,” Colbeck had said.
On June 10, the ICC had deferred the decision on the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup and the Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 until next month.