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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Butt unhappy with ICC selection

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt questioned the selection of the ICC ODI team of the year that has just one Pakistani player in paceman Umar Gul.

The 12-man squad, led by MS Dhoni, has four Indians, three Sri Lankans, two South Africans and one each from Australia, England and Pakistan. “Clive (Lloyd), I have a question,” said Butt raising his hand when the emcee of the function Mark Nocholas threw the floor open for a media interaction. “I just see one player from Pakistan, (but) some of the boys really did pretty well and they deserve your consideration,” he went on to add.

Lloyd, the head of selection panel, appeared to have been caught off-guard by Butt’s poser. “We had discussions about that,” the West Indian great started. “When you are picking a side you are looking at the balance. We did not want to have an overload of spinners or quicks. I agree with you. There were not a lot of great performances. They were consistent but not tremendously great performances,” he observed.

Asked about the omission of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir, Lloyd said: “There were a lot of people on the selection panel. Sachin Tendulkar is well and truly what you call a batting god and it is very difficult to leave him but when you look at some of the players (picked ahead of him) they have done reasonably well, they had done better than him.”

‘Let India play us first’

Butt, meanwhile, wanted India to play Pakistan in any of the neutral venues suggested by the PCB. “If they play against us what is due according to the ICC Future Tour Programme, then we will definitely come,” he said referring to Pakistan’s scheduled tour of India next year.

“We have already conveyed them (BCCI) about venues like Malaysia, Sri Lanka or UAE. We have given them a number of options but they are yet to get back to us. Unless they play in a Pakistan-hosted series, we won’t play in India.”
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