The task of leading the sides should have been given to such players who might play for Pakistan for the next 10 or more years
The ability of Pakistan cricket authorities to take astonishing decisions is really astonishing. The latest such decision is to give the charge of two teams in the Pakistan Cup to players who no longer play 50-overs cricket for the country.
What can be the point of asking Misbah-ul-Haq to lead Islamabad team and Younis Khan to lead Khyber Pakhtunkhwa?
Their inclusion in the teams is okay as they can teach a thing or two to the youngsters during the matches. But the task of leading the sides should have been given to such players who might play for Pakistan for the next 10 or more years.
There are many such players in both these teams. Islamabad has at least two players who can play for Pakistan in the years to come and lead the side.
All-rounder Hammad Azam, who has played 11 ODIs and five T20Is for Pakistan and is only 25 years old, would have been a great choice. He led Pakistan Under-23 to the final of Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup in 2013.
Or the federal capital team could have been led by Sharjeel Khan, who has played 11 ODIs and as many T20Is for the country and is only 26.
Similarly, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa team has at least two players who can play for Pakistan for a long time to come. Left-arm pacer Rahat Ali has played for Pakistan in 14 Tests and as many ODIs and is still only 27. Making him the captain would have been great investment.
Or they should have asked leg-spinner Yasir Shah to lead the side as he is likely to be the mainstay of Pakistan’s bowling for a number of years to come. He too is under 30 and so can be groomed as a captain.
Another astonishing decision taken by our cricket chiefs is to give the captains the authority to pick the players. One of the two bosses proudly said at the opening ceremony that for the first time the captains of the teams were authorised to pick their players and that neither the PCB nor regions had any hand in the selection.
Is it really a prudent decision? Giving the captains a say in the selection of the final XI is one thing, but allowing them to choose the full squad is giving them too much power.
The regions should have picked the players and the captains and the coaches should have been given the authority to pick the final XI.
What is the purpose of having all these regional bodies that have their coaches and their selection committees who spend time watching the local players all the year round to find talent and polish it?