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Cricket World Cup: Shaharyar Khan, Najam Sethi differ over team selection

Karachi: The ongoing cold war between Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan and his predecessor Najam Sethi came out into the open today over selection matters.

After Pakistan registered their first win in the World Cup over Zimbabwe, Shaharyar said that he would like to see wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed play in the next few games.

Khan didn't just stop at that, he made it clear that out of form opener Nasir Jamshed needed to be replaced by Sarfaraz in the playing eleven and he should open the innings.

"I think Sarfaraz should be selected in place of Nasir Jamshed and open the innings against UAE and South Africa," Khan was quoted as saying by Geo News.

His comments are clearly a direct foray into selection matters but with the chief selector Moin Khan called back home from the World Cup over the Casino fiasco and his future unclear, Khan perhaps felt it was the best time to show everyone who was boss.

Khan under the PCB constitution has the final word in selection matters and can veto the selectors and even the team management.

But normally former heads of the board have preferred to use their veto powers in selection matters privately and not publicly.

But apparently Khan has lost his patience with not only the chief selector but also the tour selection committee in the World Cup.

"I am very happy to see Pakistan win today but the team needs to show more improvement to progress further," he said.

The PCB chief also made it clear that finally the decision to play five bowlers had paid dividends.

"I have been saying that playing five bowlers is essential in this World Cup."

The tour selection committee has so far resisted playing Sarfaraz in the tournament and have used Umar Akmal as the part time keeper.

In their last match against West Indies the tour selectors also preferred to go in with three specialist bowlers and Afridi.

But if Khan was clear in his mind about the need for Sarfaraz to play than Najam Sethi had a differing view.

"I don't think I would want to interfere in selection matters and it is for experts to comment on cricket matters not mine," Sethi said on the same channel when asked about the selection issues.

For sometime now it has become clear that Shaharyar and Sethi are not on the same wavelength as the latter has remained in the board even after leaving the post of chairman.

He now heads the PCB executive committee and is also a member of the board of governors. 

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