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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Team selection irks PCB officials

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) efforts to avoid controversies while selecting playing-eleven on tours is proving futile as outgoing coach Waqar Younis is not following the selection process decided prior to the Zimbabwe tour leaving senior board officials fuming.

It has been reliably learnt that Waqar made forced changes while selecting the Test and One-Day International (ODI) squads acting against the strategy he agreed to before the team’s departure.

The team management, comprising the coach, captain Misbahul Haq and manager Naveed Akram Cheema, acts as the tour selection committee which selects the playing-eleven for each match. However, the officials at home were appalled by Waqar’s take on a couple of players despite Pakistan winning the one-off Test and the first two ODIs.

“Waqar’s being stubborn, doesn’t listen to anybody and selects the players that he wants,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “Fortunately, we won the Test but the decision to play Umar Akmal instead of Asad Shafiq was not beyond comprehension. It was decided beforehand to give every player a chance but not at the expense of other upcoming player.

“The playing-eleven for the first ODI was also flawed. Had Younus Khan and Misbah failed, we would’ve been in a danger of being dismissed inside the 50 overs.”

Pakistan won the opening ODI by five runs after failing to put up a decent total on the board. The match also saw the return of Imran Farhat and Shoaib Malik to the team with neither managing a decent contribution. Farhat, however, made up for his poor show by scoring an unbeaten half-century in the second ODI, taking Pakistan home by ten wickets.

“Waqar is selecting individuals on personal likes and dislikes which is not the first time he’s done that.”

The PCB arranged lectures for the team management before the tour to reinforce the boundaries in order to avoid controversies like the one on the West Indies tour where the coach and Shahid Afridi developed differences on selection matters.

Afridi’s spat with Waqar led to the allrounder’s snub from captaincy and his subsequent retirement leading to a court battle.

PCB chief informed

Meanwhile, the official added that the PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt has been informed about the developments but the board has decided not to pursue the matter.

“Waqar has already decided to step down after the tour so there is no point in raising the matter.”

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