In a recent turn of events, former England cricket player Michael Vaughan has criticized former Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez for his remarks on Indian middle-order batsman Virat Kohli’s century during the 2023 ICC World Cup. Kohli’s century, his 49th in One Day International (ODI) cricket, came in a match against South Africa in Kolkata on November 5, where India secured a resounding victory.
Hafeez’s comments sparked a heated debate when he accused Kohli of displaying “selfishness” during his innings. He argued that in the 49th over of the match, Kohli appeared to prioritize his personal milestone over the team’s victory by taking singles instead of attempting to hit boundaries.
Michael Vaughan, who represented England in 170 international matches, expressed his disagreement with Hafeez’s assessment. Vaughan took to social media, saying, “Come on @MHafeez22 !!! India has hammered 8 teams playing great cricket… @imVkohli 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… #CWC2023 #India #Pakistan.”
Hafeez, however, defended his remarks, emphasizing that while it’s natural for a player to have their milestones in mind, the primary goal should always be to win matches for the country. He stated, “I saw a sense of selfishness in Virat Kohli’s batting and this happened for the third time in this World Cup. In the 49th over, you’re thinking of your milestone and not winning the game.”
Hafeez continued, “Yes [it is] absolutely fine that the milestone is in your mind, but what is your first goal? You are representing your country to win games, if he had tried to hit a four or six on those three balls after scoring 97 runs and had failed, I am okay with that. But the intent in the 49th over was to take singles [to complete your century]. This is where I am standing, maybe people praised him, I am his big fan too, but this act [of taking singles in the last overs], to me was a selfish approach.”
Kohli’s century was significant as it allowed him to equal the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s record for the most centuries in 50-over cricket. Notably, Kohli achieved this milestone in considerably fewer innings (277) than Tendulkar (452).
The controversy surrounding Hafeez’s comments and Vaughan’s response has ignited a debate in the cricketing world, with fans and experts sharing varying opinions on the matter. The incident adds an interesting layer of intrigue to the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023, where cricketing prowess and sportsmanship continue to be hotly debated topics.
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