Fakhar Zaman and Yasir Shah were also reportedly in contention for the position after Brendon McCullum announced his departure from the team earlier this year, but Qalandars went with the most experienced option.
In the first three seasons, Qalandars went with the Pakistan Test batsman Azhar Ali as captain, followed by McCullum for the following two seasons. Azhar was removed from the job after the first season and never played again.
Two seasons with McCullum in the lead did not change Qalandars’ fate either as they finished bottom of the table every year since the inception of PSL.
Qalandars have lost 18 matches out of 26 and never went past the group stage.
Following the departure of McCullum, Qalandars management was adamant at appointing a local captain as the foreign players were not acquainted to the local players adequately, which also resulted in communication gap on occasions.
The release of Hafeez from the Peshawar Zalmi roster this year made Hafeez the favoured pick.
Since the first season, other teams retaining their local captains had left the Qalandars short on options. But for the upcoming fourth season, they had a wider pool of Pakistan players to pick with Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi being other options.
Hafeez, recently retired from Test cricket, has played 248 T20 matches, scoring 5244 runs at a strike rate of 122.35. He captained Pakistan in T20Is between 2012 and 2014 and stepped down following the team’s exit from the group stage of 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh.
Hafeez's overall T20I record stands at 18 wins from 29 matches.
By Muhammad Umair Khalid