Islamabad: Suspended Pakistan fast bowler Rana Naved ul Hasan has rubbished reports that he deliberately `underperformed` in the sole T20 match against Australia at the MCG during the winless tour earlier this year.
Naved, who was banned along with other senior members of team on the recommendation of an inquiry committee set up to probe the disastrous tour Down Under, said he was actually injured due to which he failed to perform in the said T20 match.
"To say I was under performing in that match or at any time of my career is simply not true. In the match that you are referring to, the very first delivery of the 17th over from Mitchell Johnson reared up at me and hit me in the grill. After that incident I was struggling to bat and really couldn`t contribute for the rest of that over," Naved told a website.
Chasing a paltry 128 for victory, Pakistan collapsed to 125 for 9, despite 64 from Kamran Akmal off only 33 deliveries. Naved batting at number 8 scored only one run before he was stumped by Brad Haddin off the bowling of Steve Smith.
"I wasn`t hundred percent fit and tried to carry on batting, but I was struggling. There was absolutely no chance of me under performing at all," the 32-year old bowler added.
Naved has challenged the one year ban and two million rupee fine imposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). His appeal is scheduled to be heard on June 19.
Going by the way the PCB`s appellate tribunal`s decision to remove the ban from other senior players such as Younis Khan and Shoaib Malik, Naved`s punishment is also likely to be removed.