According to veteran all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, Pakistan’s form at the Twenty20 World Cup has them brimming with confidence and with no preferences for who they will face in the semi-finals.
Pakistan has been unstoppable since their historic 10-wicket victory over archrival India at the start of the season.
The 2009 champions went on to defeat a strong New Zealand side, as well as Afghanistan and Namibia.
Pakistan will face the Group 1 runners-up, who will most likely be either Australia or South Africa, in their final group matches later on Saturday.
Hafeez, a former Twenty20 captain, stated that Pakistan is prepared for any opponent.
“To be honest, when it comes to a cricket match, we don’t think about who we want to play,” Hafeez, 41, said on the eve of their match against Scotland on Saturday.
“Whoever comes, we’ll be ready because our confidence is high, we’re shaping up nicely, and we’re performing well.”
But first, we have a game against Scotland, which we must approach with the same intensity and confidence. The goal is to win the Cup for the country, and we are on the verge of doing so.”
‘Emotional sort of player’
Pakistan has won all three Twenty20 Internationals against Scotland, once in the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007 and twice in 2018.
Hafeez stated that their strong performances were especially satisfying given the difficult lead-up to the tournament.
“Due to the weather, we only played one match out of five in the West Indies,” he explained.
“Then New Zealand and England canceled their tours, so we were short on that front, but the entire team and management performed admirably in this tournament.”
New Zealand canceled their tour due to a security alert just minutes before the first ODI in Rawalpindi in September, and England backed out of two T20Is in October, citing players’ mental and physical health issues.
Hafeez cited the first match against India as a confidence booster, citing Pakistan’s first victory over them in 13 World Cup appearances.
“In any tournament, winning the first match gives you confidence, so beating India gave us a huge boost.”
“I’ve played in many World Cup matches against India, and after each defeat, we had to bear the consequences, but we always had strong comebacks.”
“This time we won, and it was an honor to be a part of the team that defeated India.”
Hafeez has avoided talk of retirement.
“I’m concentrating on this World Cup, so after that, I’ll decide what to do,” he said.
“I am a very emotional player, and playing for Pakistan is a source of great pride for me.”