Shahid Afridi on Wednesday said that he was unable to understand the “standard of selection which the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) adopts,” while choosing players for the national team.
Speaking at an event in Lahore, the former captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team not only expressed his confusion over PCB’s selection process but also said that the PCB did not have a solid plan in place for the Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) sixth edition because of which it had to be postponed.
Afridi said that selectors, coaches, and captains form a team together.
“Now, I am hearing that there are differences between them but these matters should not be leaked. It’s wrong to leak internal matters of the board,” said the skipping, adding that the most important role in the selection of the team is played by the captain as they have to make decisions on the field.
“There is a lot of pressure on the skipper. He also has to answer questions to the media. If you want to take Babar Azam with you in the future, you have to give him power. We have to work with him,” he said. “Most importantly, the internal matters of the team shouldn’t be leaked.”
Afridi said he does not understand the method of selection of the team and questioned the criteria based on which players are picked.
“Players who have merely played two matches are being selected. For instance, Naseem Shah was selected and was allowed to play with very experienced bowlers. But now, Naseem is nowhere to be seen. If you invest in a player, you have to take them forward [with the team],” Afridi remarked.
It is pertinent to mention here that Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim has refuted claims of a rift between him, Azam and head coach Misbah ul Haq, saying that there was no truth to them.
Later, while talking about PSL6, which had to be called off after several players tested positive for COVID-19 despite staying in the biosecure bubble, Afridi said that the tournament should not have been postponed.
“I don’t think the PSL should have been postponed. The Pakistan Super League is a very big brand of Pakistan. It is our honour, but the PCB did not seem to have a Plan B in place,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Amir, who announced his retirement from Pakistan Cricket due to issues with PCB management, directly hit Wasim and said that the chief selector lacks the vision needed to take the country’s cricket forward.
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Amir questioned the change in selection criteria for opener Sharjeel Khan.
“There is no doubt that Sharjeel [Khan] should be in the white-ball squad because he is the most dangerous player in white-ball cricket in Pakistan,” said Amir. “One or two series ago, you were saying that he needs to work on his fitness to get selected so why have you taken this decision now? The only thing you considered is his performance, right?”
“It is important that they [selection committee] keep the same criteria of selection for every player,” he added.
“I don’t see any vision of the chief selector. I don’t know if he is asked to work like this or it’s his own mindset. Selecting teams on public opinion is not the right thing to do. He should select players who are best suited to play for Pakistan,” he further stated.