Cricket Update: Pakistan skipper Afridi warned by PCB for criticising squad selection
Pakistan Cricket Board has cautioned the limited-overs skipper Shahid Afridi after the player expressed his unhappiness over the selection of the squad to play against South Africa later this month in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 15-man squad was announced last
week without disclosing captain’s name. The next day Misbah Ul Haq was named captain for Test leg of the tour – after Salman Butt’s suspension owing to the spot-fixing allegations - while Afridi retained his one-day and T20 captaincy role.
At the time of appointment, Afridi did not express any kind of reservation over selection of the squad but later on the skipper was reported complaining that he was not consulted before finalising the squad.
"The team was announced without my input and advice," Afridi told the media reporters.
"I wanted 2-3 players other than Sohail Tanvir in the side."
During its tour to United Arab Emirates, Pakistan cricket team is set to play two T20Is and five One Day Internationals. Afridi said that he would talk to the chairman Pakistan Cricket Board Ijaz Butt about the 15-man squad. The PCB chairman, however, is
in Dubai these days to attend an ICC meeting.
The statement, nonetheless, earned Afridi an official admonish from the Pakistan Cricket Board. A board official has revealed the media that the limited-overs captain has been served with letter yesterday warning him to avoid giving such statements. The
official elucidated, though, that the letter sent to Afridi was not a show-cause notice.
Comments of Shahid Khan Afridi strengthen qualms of growing influence of Ijaz Butt in selection affairs and the shaping of teams. The hidden sources have also revealed that the coach Waqar Younis was also not consulted while selecting
the squad. The source further claimed that the coach, who has arrived in Lahore on Monday, 11th October from Sydney, was "quite upset" on the selection of the squad as well as captaincy appointment by the board. Misbah-ul-Haq was named Test captain
last Friday and the chief selector Mohsin Hasan Khan had kept himself away from the decision saying that that former captain and the Test veteran Younis Khan was the first choice of his committee.
Traditionally, the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board has only signed off on 15-man squad and named a captain, keeping himself away from the composition of the squad itself. The composition of the squad has been left to the chief selector,
captain of the team and the head coach. Two years of PCB chairmanship of Ijaz Butt, on the other hand, have seen five chief selectors, six different captains and three coaches.
According to an ex-selector, the continuous state of flux has concentrated power in the hands of the chairman making him uncrowned king of the board. The ex-member of selection committee opined that the situation has gotten even worse
since Mohsin Khan has been appointed as the chief selector. He alleged Mohsin of following Ijaz Butt’s instructions blindly saying that he does not consult with the selection committee even before announcing squad.
Same kind of criticism was levelled against the chief selector Mohsin Khan and chairman PCB Ijaz Butt, earlier in June this year, when the controversial squad for the tour to England was selected. The central character of that controversy,
former captain Younis Khan, has once again been overlooked by the selection committee despite the turbulent middle order of Pakistan team. Younis is still waiting for getting his name cleared from the board. The standing committee of senate on sports has yesterday
requested the board to clear the veteran’s name and include him as well into the squad to play against South Africa.