Following the recent debacle of Fawad Alam’s non-selection, a number of former players and coaches have come out and criticized PCB and its selection committee.
Chief selector, Inzamam-ul-Haq, finally broke his silence and provided clarification on the matter.
Fawad was called up for the fitness camp where he showcased his physical ability and performed better than some of the regular players, which included Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, and Hasan Ali.
While talking at length about the matter, Inzamam claimed that “dropping any player doesn’t mean we are disregarding them,” Inzamam said there are “many more things we take into consideration.”
He further added:
“Fawad Alam is an outstanding player but in the last three years, there are others at the top of the list. We got him here in the nets but we found Saad Ali to be better, and the decision to prefer Saad was unanimous, with input from all the coaching staff and captain.”
“Fawad is a good player and we obviously can’t ignore his career average; that is why he was brought into the camp. During my tenure, I have given 12 to 14 players an opportunity and none of them have disappointed us. If you look back in the past three seasons, there are players who have scored more runs than Fawad Alam.”
“I am not sure why Fawad wasn’t picked in the past before me but if you ask me about my tenure as chief selector, I have seen better players.”
Rashid Latif Shows His Anger
Former Pakistani captain Rashid Latif voiced his opinion and posed some serious questions to the national selection committee regarding the 16-man squad for the England and Ireland series.
Rashid Latif remained unhappy following Fawad’s continuous omission from the squad despite scoring at an average of 55.35 runs in the domestic circuit.
“How come Fawad has not been selected when Pakistan is in dire need of experienced guys to beef up the batting. The simultaneous retirements of Younis [Khan] and Misbah [ul-Haq] after the West Indies tour last year left a gaping hole in the Pakistan batting and which was brutally exposed by an under-strengthened Sri Lankan bowling line-up on the slow pitches of the UAE.”
“My question to Inzamam is straightforward. Why was Fawad included in the pre-tour camp when he wasn’t in the [selectors’] radar for the three Test matches coming up in alien conditions? I’m perplexed by some of the selections made by Inzamam and company.”
“Just imagine Fawad last played a Test in 2009 when he was 23-year-old. I feel very sorry for him [Fawad] because before Inzamam took as chief selector, the previous heads [of the national selection committee] Mohsin Khan, Mohammad Ilyas and Haroon Rashid all ignored his rightful claims to play for Pakistan at the highest level.”
“It’s like handing a sentence to someone who has committed a heinous crime. Inzamam’s committee has done a financial murder to Fawad given how much Test players are paid these days. His track record speaks for itself with those 27 centuries and 10,742 first-class runs.”
Rashid also questioned the decision of selecting four openers, something which even Ramiz Raja hinted upon. Ramiz said that Fakhar does not possess the technical ability and handing him a debut in English conditions is a poor decision by Inzamam and co.
“When Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam are two openers with Imam-ul-Haq as the third, what is the point of having Fakhar as the back-up [opener] when only three are sufficient,” he questioned. “The inclusion of the fourth opener is a bad formation from the selection committee. And I just can’t understand that Inzamam has spoken about giving experience to the batsmen of playing in English conditions as preparations for the World Cup next year.”
Some more questions were put forth:
“Out of the lot picked for this tour how many of them will be at the World Cup? Because Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sami Aslam surely won’t get picked in the [World Cup] squad and then I’m not sure whether Fakhar would be playing in the coming Tests, so how on earth can one make an illogical statement like Inzamam’s because Test, one-day and for that matter T20 are totally different formats.”
“It seems surreal what the chief selector has uttered. It’s like beating about the bush because there is no sense in picking players just to give them experience.”
While concluding, Rashid also claimed that injustice is something which has affected Mir Hamza, the left-arm fast bowler who was selected in SL series, and Sadaf Hussain’s selection as well. He said:
“Both are extremely talented youngsters with the outstanding record. Hamza has 258 first-class wickets at 18.22 while Sadaf has got 358 wickets at 18.37. Compare those figures with that of Rahat Ali’s Test statistics, only 58 wickets in 20 Tests at 37.43. No comparison.”
Fawad Alam’s Response
After yet another disappointment, Fawad claimed that he is unaware as to what more he needs to do to justify his selection.
He remained positive and expressed his desire to keep on working hard and hope for the best in the future. He said:
“This [exclusion from the squad] has been happening and it is the responsibility of the player to keep on performing at the domestic level and one day you will reap the benefits.”