Thursday June 30, 2022

PCB mulls options to expose backup players in West Indies ODIs

May 12, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricket’s think-tank and the selectors are contemplating to expose some backup players during the three-match One-Day series against West Indies starting from June 7.

‘The News’ has learnt from the well-placed sources that the matter came under discussion during a meeting held on Wednesday as to whether it would be a sane approach to call back all the leading players busy playing county cricket in England.

“There are suggestions that a few leading players including Shaheen Shah Afridi and Hasan Ali should continue playing County and some backup players including Waseem, Shahnawaz Dhani and others should be given the opportunity to play the ODI series against West Indies.

At the same time there were fears that any attempt to field a weak team against the West Indies could prove counterproductive. Since the three matches are to be played in connection with the qualifying round for the World Cup 2023, any undue risk could land the hosts in trouble. Nothing has been finalised as yet,” a source within the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said.

During the last two days, leading PCB protagonists stayed busy in consultation regarding the formation of camp probables for the series and the best possible combination against West Indies.

“There were strong suggestions that since all the leading cricketers would be facing a tough and lengthy season ahead, it would not be good idea to disturb their ongoing county engagements midway. Rather a few top players should be allowed to pursue County Cricket engagements till the time they join the team for series against Holland and later for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

The consultation process would continue for the next few days before the final decision.”

Another point of discussion was the strength of camp probables for the West Indies series.

“The PCB may invite camp probables in large numbers. The decision will keep the backup strength active as well as to secure the numerous options of having a broader pool for the coming international season. Pakistan have never seen such heavy international commitments in the past so there is a need to keep the backup strength on its toes throughout the season,” the source added.

Meanwhile, the PCB was awaiting the outcome of political maneuvering to decide on the venue for the three-match ODI series against West Indies.

If the PTI decides to stage a rally in the capital on or around May 30, the venue would likely be changed from Pindi to Karachi otherwise the matches would be staged at the Pindi Stadium.