LAHORE - Former T20 captain M Hafeez and ODI captain Azhar Ali Saturday forgave tainted player M Aamir and agreed to join the ongoing training camp here at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Both the cricketers previously stayed away from the training camp to protest the inclusion of M Aamir, who served a ban for spot-fixing, however, they have decided to join the camp after meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar M Khan.
Both senior cricketers expressed their concerns about Aamir in a meeting with Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar M Khan before agreeing to join the camp.
“Both the cricketers met with me and agreed to join the training camp. I do respect their concerns but some of them, I told them, are not acceptable. So they understood and confirmed that they are on the same page with us and now we are looking forward to the success of the team," Shaharyar told reporters after a final meeting with the players.
He added: "We have also conveyed that for a while, we have only selected Aamir in the training session and he has not been selected in the national team so far.
But if Aamir is selected, then both players have to stand with him and should not see him with suspicion or behave badly with him. It is now their responsibility - Azhar as captain and Hafeez as a senior player - to take him like a family. At the same time, we will ensure that Aamir stays on course and does not commit any mistake in future."
Hafeez was happy that Shaharyar Khan had agreed to listen to his reservations and said he would continue to oppose corruption on principle.
"My stance has been simple all the way, that anyone who damages the pride and integrity of the country should not be given a chance again. It was my principle stance and will remain the same throughout my life,” he told the reporters, after agreeing to return to the camp.
"I am happy that the PCB chairman heard my reservations and agreed to safeguard our concerns for the sake of Pakistan cricket. Playing cricket is my passion and I don't need to convince people about my talent.
I know I am an average player but I won an honour to represent Pakistan and I vow to contribute to the success of Pakistan. I will, in my humble capacity, continue to support every player," Hafeez added.
Hafeez stressed his stance was not directed at a particular individual. "I also want to clarify that my stance wasn't against any one individual but it was for all who have committed corruption," Hafeez said.
"I have forgiven all, who have damaged the integrity of the Pakistan cricket through corruption but I, in principle, am against corruption and will keep holding this stance forever. I hope people will understand and support me," Hafeez concluded.