A couple of days back Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced a 16 member Test squad for the upcoming tour of UAE against Sri Lanka. It was a matter of hours following the announcement that fans with in the country and outside of it began questioning the policy of the officials concerned.
Here is a look at three reasons why whatever selection policy PCB has opted for makes little or no sense at all!
3. Shan Masood Ahead of Ahmed Shehzad
Before I begin my argument I must say that I understand Ahmed Shehzad is no longer a popular player amongst the masses for reasons that require no explanation. Nevertheless, he was picked for the recently concluded series against World XI even though he had not performed well in the previous tournament that he had played i.e. the ICC Champions Trophy, 2017.
Not only did Shehzad scored runs during the Independence Cup but to his credit he also has a half century in his last Test appearance. So to pick him when he was out of form and to discard him when he is scoring runs is obviously a bizarre decision.
To make matters worse he been left out to make room for somebody like Shan Masood who despite numerous opportunities is yet to cement his place in the playing eleven. It is no secret that Shan’s father is an influential member of PCB. Therefore, there is a need to investigate media allegations which suggest nepotism as a reason behind Shan’s inclusion. However, who in Pakistan is going to investigate such a case is a question that nobody has an answer to.
So Shan now has been given ideal opportunity ahead of a deserving player to score big on batting friendly pitches against a depleted Sri Lankan bowling attack and remain in the mix of things till Pakistan play England next year where he is most likely to fail again and cost the boys in green a game or two!
2. Selecting Wahab Riaz Ahead of Junaid Khan
Guess what? The over-rated Wahab Riaz for reasons beyond any logical explanation is back again. Riaz has been out of form for a while now and I seriously wonder what else must Riaz do for the PCB selection committee to understand that he is a spent force, no longer worth investing in.
Discarding Junaid Khan to make way for Wahab Riaz is unjustified and yet another example of why PCB’s think tanks are often blamed of nepotism.
1. Discarding Fawad Alam
So Shan Masood despite not performing well can make it to the final squad but a regular performer like Fawad Alam can’t and that too when Younis and Misbah have just retired and there are a couple of vacant positions in the middle order.
PCB’s selection committee explained a few months back that there are more interested in providing opportunities to younger players who are under 30 years of age. Still, during the last press conference PCB’s chief selector suggested that it is a matter of time before Salman Butt’s makes a comeback. Perhaps, he forget that apart from being a tainted player Salman Butt is also over 30 years of age!
There is no doubt that PCB has its own double standards and clearly Fawad Alam is a victim of it!