Ex Pak players hail selectors for picking well-balanced squad

Last Updated: Jan 05, 2011, 12:02 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistan`s former Test players have supported the national selectors for picking a well balanced World Cup preliminary squad.

Former chief selector and Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, however, criticised the selection of former captain and senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf in the preliminary squad.

"If captain Shahid Afridi pressed the board and selectors to recall Yousuf then he is wrong because Yousuf is no longer fit enough for the one-day version. His fielding is just not up to the mark," Qadir said.

The selectors yesterday recalled Yousuf for the World Cup squad while ignoring another former captain Shoaib Malik. Qadir said the decision to recall Kamran Akmal and Rana Naved was a good one and it would pay dividends for Pakistan team.

"They are experienced players and they will be useful in the World Cup. But I would urge the selectors to also give the younger players in the side a chance to play in the mega event instead of just naming them in the preliminary squad," Qadir
added.

Former captain Zaheer Abbas also backed the recall of Kamran Akmal but expressed disappointment over the exclusion of Malik.

"I don`t know what has happened behind the scenes but I would have liked to see Malik in the World Cup squad because he is an ideal player for the pitches in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India," Zaheer said.

He said it was a good sign that the selectors have named six to seven newcomers in the side and said this was a step forward for Pakistan cricket.

He also felt that if the selectors had included Yousuf in the World Cup squad they should now send him and some of the newcomers to New Zealand for the one-day series to test them out.

Yousuf, 36, who has played 90 Tests and 288 One-day Internationals was dropped for the tour to New Zealand because of lack of fitness after he had earlier returned home from Dubai without playing the tests against South Africa due to a strained muscle.

Former Test batsman Basit Ali said he was surprised at the omission of leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and dashing openers Shahzaib Hasan and Khalid Latif from the preliminary squad.

"Kaneria is one of the most experienced spinners around and would have been ideal for the pitches in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. If Kamran Akmal can be cleared for selection then why the Board have not cleared Kaneria and Shoaib Malik for selection," said Basit.

He also expressed surprised that the selectors have forgotten Hammad Azam who was even sent for the T20 World Cup.

"This is how we waste our young talent. I just hope the newcomers in the side get proper opportunities to prove their worth."

PTI