Meme makers had a field day after Michael Vaughan broke the internet with his tweet on Pakistan’s World Cup exit, a dig at Mohammad Hafeez.
Meme makers had a field day after ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan broke the internet with his tweet in which he took a dig at former Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez following the Babar Azam-led side’s exit from the 2023 Cricket World Cup on Saturday.
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Pakistan needed to win the match against England inside three overs. Instead, they lost by 93 runs, ensuring the Islamic country’s players’ flight back home.
As the Babar Azam-led side exited the Cricket World Cup, Mohammad Hafeez found a prominent place among social media trends for his apparent grudge against India talisman Virat Kohli.
The controversy began last Sunday when Mohammad Hafeez called Virat Kohli “selfish” following his record-equalling hundred against South Africa in the World Cup.
Virat Kohli anchored the Indian innings, remaining unbeaten on 101 off 121 balls.
Experts commenting on the match agreed that the pitch was tricky to bat on as it aided South African spinners, who posed some problems for the home side’s batters.
Though runs were hard to come by against South Africa’s slow bowlers, especially against Keshav Maharaj, Virat Kohli managed to dig in and made sure India put up a good total on the scoreboard.
The Eden Gardens, packed to the raptures, was treated to a Virat Kohli masterclass as he powered the hosts to 326/5 in their allocated 50 overs.
Despite Virat Kohli’s splendid knock, Mohammad Hafeez opined that the talismanic India batter put his milestone ahead of the team’s cause and should have scored his runs much quicker than he did.
“I saw sense of selfishness in Virat Kohli’s batting and this happened for the third time in this World Cup. In the 49th over, he was looking to take a single to reach his own hundred and he didn’t put the team first,” Mohammad Hafeez said on a Pakistani TV show.
Comparing Virat Kohli’s knock with Rohit Sharma’s, Mohammad Hafeez claimed that the latter played for the team as he gave them a blistering start.
Rohit Sharma made 40 off 24 balls as Team India raced to 62/1 in under six overs.
“Rohit Sharma could have played selfish cricket too, but he didn’t because he is playing for Team India and not for himself. You have to give credit to Rohit Sharma. The way he is sacrificing his innings with right intent is commendable. The way he batted in the first six overs. He gave that sucker punch to South Africa. He knew pitch will get difficult and must attack when the ball is new and hard. Your captain can also play like you but his goal is bigger than his personal achievement. Rohit can also hit centuries,” Mohammad Hafeez explained.
“I am not saying Virat didn’t played well. He batted beautifully till he reached 97. The last three singles, he took, I am talking about the intent. He was looking for singles instead of hitting boundaries. Who cares if he gets out on 97 or 99. Team should always be above than personal milestone,” the former Pakistan all-rounder added.
Mohammad Hafeez’s comments earned him flak from former India coach Venkatesh Prasad, who slammed him for insulting Virat Kohli.
“Hearing funny arguments about Virat Kohli being Selfish and obsessed with personal milestone. Yes Kohli is selfish, selfish enough to follow the dream of a billion people, selfish enough to strive for excellence even after achieving so much, selfish enough to set new benchmarks, selfish enough to ensure his team wins. Yes, Kohli is selfish,” Venkatesh Prasad wrote on X.
The following day, it was the turn of England’s Ashes-winning former captain, Michael Vaughan, who minced no words in criticizing Mohammad Hafeez for his “nonsense” comments on Virat Kohli.
“Come on Mohammad Hafeez!!! India have hammered 8 teams playing great cricket. Virat Kohli now has 49 tons and his last was an anchor role innings on a tricky pitch. His team won by over 200!!!! This is utter nonsense,” Michael Vaughan posted on the microblogging site.
The bitter war of words between Michael Vaughan and Mohammad Hafeez continued as the latter tried to hit back at the former by sharing an example of Ben Stokes’ hundred against the Netherlands.
Mohammad Hafeez described Ben Stokes’ knock of 108 off 84 balls against the Netherlands that helped England end a five-match losing streak as selfless before telling Michael Vaughan that Virat Kohli’s innings was selfish.
“Saviour of the ship Ben Stokes. Good 100 under pressure anchoring the innings where required with aggressive intent to get Maximum runs for the team to win at the end. Sheer example to differentiate Selfish vs Selfless approach Michael Vaughan,” Mohammad Hafeez said.
Michael Vaughan acknowledged that Ben Stokes produced a great knock but backed his previous comments on Virat Kohli.
“Great innings from Ben Stokes Mohammad Hafeez. As was Virat’s on a difficult pitch in Kolkata against a better attack,” Michael Vaughan replied.
Sometime later, Michael Vaughan seemed to have found the answer to Mohammad Hafeez’s hatred of the premier India batter. He informed the netizens that Virat Kohli once dismissed the former Pakistan cricketer, making him one of the few players to have lost his wicket to the bowling of the Indian superstar.
“Seems to me Mohammad Hafeez you were bowled by Virat Kohli !!! Is this the reason you constantly have a pop at him,” Michael Vaughan broke the internet with his post.
Michael Vaughan didn’t stop there as he re-shared the video of Mohammad Hafeez’s dismissal to Virat Kohli with a caption, “Have a great day” after Pakistan’s near exit from the World Cup following New Zealand’s victory over Sri Lanka.
During the weekend, after Pakistan lost to England by 93 runs with their batters again letting the team down, Michael Vaughan tweeted: “Maybe Pakistani batters need to be a bit more selfish like Virat.”
Michael Vaughan’s swipe at Mohammad Hafeez drew sharp reactions on the internet, with netizens having fun at the latter’s expense.
While some slammed him for insulting Virat Kohli, others urged him to focus more on the Pakistani cricket team’s performances rather than analyzing the displays of Team India cricketers.
A few mocked Mohammad Hafeez as they called him “ghante ka expert,” a phrase used to troll former cricketers who often make silly mistakes while analyzing a match or a player.
On the other hand, a particular section called Michael Vaughan, the father of Mohammad Hafeez, as he showed him his place in the cricket world.
Another set of Indian cricket admirers paid rich plaudits to Michael Vaughan for owning the clown, which is none other than Mohammad Hafeez.
Previously, former Pakistan pacer Wahab Riaz showed his disagreement with Mohammad Hafeez over his bizarre comments on Virat Kohli.
“I disagree. The role is defined differently. Virat’s role is to take the game deep. In the last eight overs India scored 75 runs. Surya and Jadeja played fast but Kohli made sure that he is there at other end. if Kohli would have got out, we would have not seen those two cameos and India might not have crossed the 300-run mark,” retired Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz said.
“We talk about role identification. Rohit and Shubman are going all guns blazing up front. Then Virat plays the sheet anchor role, taking game deep. If Rohit and Shubman gets out early, Shreyas’ will be the aggressor, Kohli and KL Rahul will bat through. It is very clear. yes Kohli batted slowly but if not for him, India would not have posted 326,” he signed off.