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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.”

Umar Gul only Pak player named in ICC ODI team

Fast bowler Umar Gul is the only Pakistan player selected in the International Cricket Council One-day Team of the Year, the cricket world governing body revealed on Monday.
Umar Gul, South African pacer Del Steyn, Indian pacer Zaheer Khan have been named in playing XI while Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga has been named 12th man of one-day team of the year. The ICC announced Monday its ODI Team of the Year, as chosen by a specially appointed selection panel chaired by West Indian batting legend and former captain Clive Lloyd, according to the governing body’s press release.
The announcement was made at a special function ahead of the ICC Awards ceremony being held on Monday evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. Presented in association with FICA, the ICC Awards recognise the best international players and officials of the past 12 months.
Six countries are represented in the 12-man line-up and just one player – MS Dhoni, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning captain, keeps wicket and leads the side and is joined by fellow ICC ODI Team of the Year 2009 members AB de Villiers of South Africa and Shane Watson of Australia. Sri Lanka’s Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga and Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj, Umar Gul have also been selected in the team. Chairman of the LG ICC Awards selection panel Lloyd was joined on the panel by exPakistan captain Zaheer Abbas, ex-England captain Mike Gatting, ex-New Zealand bowler Danny Morrison and former South African bowler Paul Adams. Statistics were available as a guide but were not necessarily the overwhelming factor in the choices made.
ICC ODI Team of the Year
Dilshan (SL), Sehwag (Ind), Sangakkara (SL), AB de Villiers (SA), Watson (Aus), Yuvraj Singh (Ind), Dhoni (Ind, wk/capt), G Swann (Eng), Umar Gul (Pak), D Steyn (SA), Zaheer Khan (Ind)

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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