Former coach and chief selector Mohsin Khan has said that Pakistan’s selection for the World Twenty20 was made in haste given the number of ’flaws’ in the squad.
Mohsin termed the snub handed out to left-arm fast-bowler Junaid Khan and the exclusions of opener Ahmed Shehzad and spinner Abdur Rehman as disappointing.
“The selectors made a hasty selection for the major event,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune, referring to the squad announcement deadline which is August 18. “The team was announced just to facilitate the coach [Dav Whatmore] who had to leave for holidays. This shows the selection was a one-man show. The feedback from the coach and captain is important but selectors should have the ultimate say.
“It’s very sad to see Junaid’s snub as he was the only fast-bowler who did well in Sri Lanka. He could have been a good addition as we are struggling in the fast-bowling department. Raza Hasan has just played one One-Day International and his selection over the experienced Rehman is shocking. The decision to overlook Ahmed Shahzad over Imran Nazir is also not understandable.”
The former cricketer added that justice was also not served to promising all-rounder Hammad Azam, while wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed and batsman Khalid Latif also suffered. Mohsin said that the selectors downplayed the importance of domestic cricket while selecting players on the basis of their show in foreign leagues and the English counties.
“Selectors have sent a bad message to domestic cricketers by selecting people like Yasir Arafat and Nazir on the basis of their show elsewhere.”
‘T20 event should have been arranged’
Mohsin stressed that the fitness tests of Abdul Razzaq, Sohail Tanvir and Umar Gul were needed before the squad’s announcement.
“These players are struggling with their fitness. The selectors had a lot of time and the PCB should’ve arranged a short event and judged the players’ match fitness.”
However, the former coach welcomed the return of wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.
“Kamran was the best choice after getting clearance from the integrity committee. Hopefully, he’s improved his wicket-keeping.”
Sparking debate on the captaincy issue, Mohsin added that Shahid Afridi was the best choice to lead the side.
Younus, Kamran under scanner for ODI selection
Meanwhile, the selection of out-of-form batsman Younus Khan and Kamran will the key issues when the selection committee meets the team management to finalise the ODI squad for the series against Australia in the UAE.
According to an official close to the selection committee, there was a possibility that Younus might be rested for the forthcoming series due to his poor form.
“The situation will be assessed,” said the official. “A good performance by Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali has created difficulties for Younus. But his vast experience can help him considering the tough opposition in the series. A word from Whatmore will be crucial on the decision.”
‘Kamran not favourite’
While the selectors picked Kamran for Twenty20s, the keeper may not win back an ODI berth.
“The selectors are not in favour of Kamran’s inclusion in ODIs,” said the official. “They want him to focus to get the best out of him in the World Twenty20,” added the official, while terming Sarfraz as a strong contender. “Again, feedback from the coach will be vital.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2012.