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Monday, December 6, 2010

Pakistan Cricket Board and selection committee need to urgently finalise World Cup team

 With only two and a half months left for the much awaited ICC World Cup, most top-class teams are settled, well prepared and trying different options that can work well in the Subcontinent.  
But unfortunately that is not the case with Pakistan, which is one of the most entertaining cricket teams in the world.
Although, the spot-fixing controversy has been a hurdle in Pakistan’s preparations for the upcoming World Cup, the biggest problem with Pakistan cricket right now is the poor management and selection committee, who do not seem to have any vision at all.
Pakistan Cricket Board is so weak at the moment that it has to take the approval from International Cricket Council for each player before selecting him. ICC has suspended Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif but effectively Pakistan is without half of its team right now with question marks over Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria also.
But in reply to an email by Kamran Akmal, ICC has given him clearance of any charges of either spot-fixing or match-fixing, which he later forwarded to Pakistan Cricket Board as well.
On the other hand, Shoaib Malik, was not even a part of the Lord’s Test or the Sydney Test, which are being investigated. All these things make the situation more confusing for Pakistani cricket fans as to why their favourite players are not been picked for the national team.
On top of that, PCB has dropped Mohammad Yousaf as well, who has been Pakistan’s most prolific batsman in Tests and One Day International (ODIs). Events of the last six months make things more ironic, as Mohammad Yousaf was the one, who was drafted into Pakistan’s team on the tour of England when he was out of cricket for about 6 months.
And recently in UAE he played in the 5th match of the ODI series against South Africa when he was not even part of the ODI squad. He reached UAE to join the team for the Test matches against the Proteas. What has happened all of a sudden that has changed the selection committee’s opinion about Muhammad Yousaf? This remains a mystery for a follower of Pakistan cricket.
On the other hand, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik have been an integral part of Pakistan’s limited over setup for the last 6 years and both have won a number of matches for Pakistan. And now when the country requires their services, they are not allowed to play at the international level even though both of them are having a fabulous domestic season.
The story does not just end on these 3 players. Imran Nazir is a player, who has the ability to change the complexion of a match, at least in the limited over format, but he has been continuously ignored by the Pakistan Cricket Board.
Umar Amin was a good selection by the PCB but they failed to stick with him after a run of failures. The selectors should persist with him as he has the talent to become a real match-winner for Pakistan.
Pakistan is a country which is full of talent but it is the job of Pakistan Cricket Board to manage things in an appropriate manner. The ODI series against the Kiwis is the last opportunity for the selection committee to let the coach and the captain settle with a combination, otherwise, Pakistan’s chances in the 2011 ICC World Cup look bleak.

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