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April 17, 2018

Team selection criticised at NA committee meeting


April 17, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan chief selector Inzamam-ul Haq’s decision to include his nephew Imam-ul-Haq and drop speedster Wahab Riaz for England tour came under harsh criticism in the National Assembly Standing Committee on IPC on Monday.

Imam, who scored just 222 runs in five Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches averaging a poor 27 runs this year, was preferred over two dozen batsmen having better averages in the Trophy.

Iqbal Mohammad Ali, an MNA from Karachi, said it was unjust to include Imam and not consider consistent Fawad Alam. “Imam is totally raw and not worthy of selection for the tough England tour. If you are nephew of chief selector that does not mean you are qualified to play for the national team,” he added.

“Why then Imam finds a place on team? In comparison Fawad who has been scoring heavily in domestic cricket has yet again been ignored,” he lamented. It is pertinent to mention here that Imam made his One-day International debut in October last year against Sri Lanka in the UAE, scoring 100. In the next three innings, however, he managed only 49 runs.

He averages 34 in first class cricket with four centuries in 34 matches. Fawad, on the other hand, averages 55 in first class cricket with 27 centuries in 145 matches. His temperament is considered most suitable for Test cricket.

Iqbal also criticised Wahab’s exclusion saying he had the speed to take wickets. “I feel the decision to drop him is totally unjust. He is the only Pakistani bowler who can touch 150km and has the ability to trouble batsmen with speed. Why has he been dropped?” he said.

Wahab was not named even among the 25 players who were called to the training camp as head coach Mickey Arthur said he had not won Pakistan any game for some time. In the 11 Tests that Wahab played in 2016 and 2017 he took 2, 3, 5, 3, 7, 2, 5, 2, 4, 2, and 5 wickets.

According to Cricinfo, he has been Pakistan’s most effective fast bowler in Tests since 2014, when coach Waqar Younis brought him back. Only spinner Yasir Shah has more wickets for Pakistan in that period.

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