Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Pakistan T20 Squad and a few questions

Nine players were also present in the last World T20 Cup squad

By Muhammad Asif Khan

The passion for Cricket in Pakistan is overwhelming and this is the very reason why the game is discussed in almost every gathering.  The followers have their say on the issues related to the game and they don’t let an opportunity to comment go by whenever a decision is taken by the authorities at the helm of affairs.

Chopping and changing in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) setup do raise eyebrows however when it comes to the National team selection the mood swing of the enthusiasts is evident. The story was not different after the announcement of the 15-member squad for the World T20 Cup which is scheduled to be held in September this year.

There is no doubt that the squad announced for the mega event was strong on paper but a few inclusions need clarification. Before jumping to the list of players the question is that why the PCB was in a hurry? - the deadline to submit the final squad is mid August - At the time when other teams are only finalising their provisional 30-man squad for ICC World Twenty20, we have already curtailed the squad to 15.

Now coming to the squad and starting with Kamran Akmal, who had been out of favour since last 15 months for his alleged involvements in the wrongdoing, got a nod but the question still remains that why his selection was put on hold in the first place? Why his selection was subjected to the clearance from the Integrity Committee and the most important aspect is that what was presented before the integrity committee by Kamran Akmal to get the clean chit?

In the All-rounders’ category, the selection committee banked on the experience of Abdul Razzaq who was dropped from earlier assignments due to non participation in the domestic events. On the snub the all-rounder (Razzaq) went berserk and questioned the credibility of the selectors however the dust somehow settled and he is back in the team. His recent performance in England was good thou. Furthermore, another all-rounder in the list, Yasir Arafat seems to have a magic wand in his hand because he plays in the U.K., and gets into the team from nowhere.

Ahmed Shehzad, the tailor-made batsman for the shortest version, was snubbed but not on technical grounds. As per reports he was overlooked due to his negative attitude and erratic behaviour, again something is fishy.

Junaid Khan, the fast bowler, who bowled his heart out in Sri Lanka, however his superb bowling form was not considered enough, and the reason, is best known by the selectors only.

Drifting away from the team combination, it’s time to look into the vision of the authorities running the game in the country. Every now and then we read and hear statements about the futuristic approach by the authorities, but on ground the situation is not so and the example is the recently announced 15-member squad for the World T20 cup 2012.

Before the last edition of the mega event in 2010, the then selection committee assembled a bunch of 17 players and amazingly after around 28 month the incumbent selection committee accumulated the squad in which 9 players were in 2010 squad as well.

Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Muhammad Hafeez, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Muhammad Sami and Yasir Arafat were included in the 2010 squad and later on Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat were withdrawn from it to make it a 15-member bunch which took part in the 2010 World T20 Cup in the West Indies. If this is called the futuristic approach then God knows where are we heading and where would we end up at he end of the day. The key to running any business successfully is the check and balance as well as the just approach but I am afraid we are lacking on both accounts.

1 comment:

  1. The reservations on the squad are valid and so is the selection policy. Either the selectors & PCB higher-ups have no vision and if they have they're not allowed to implement due to some political involvement; whatever the reason maybe, it's effecting the morale of upcoming talent. But as the saying goes "Pakistan is predictably unpredictable"