Lahore: Former Test cricketer and chief selector Iqbal Qasim has criticised the selection committee for adopting a “futile” youth policy in team selection.
Although the selectors have picked three uncapped players – Yasir Shah, Rameez Raja and Aizaz Cheema for the tour of Zimbabwe, the exclusion of Hammad Azam, Usman Salahuddin and Sadaf Hussain has raised many eyebrows.
Azam and Salahuddin were given limited opportunities on the Caribbean tour while Hussain has had no opportunity at all to play for Pakistan as yet.
“If a youngster does well in the domestic circuit, he is rewarded with a spot in the Pakistan squad for a tour only for sightseeing” stated a rather displeased Iqbal Qasim told a website.
He added: “Hammad [Azam], Khalid [Latif], Khurram [Manzoor], Sarfraz [Ahmed], Mohammad Salman and numerous other youngsters have featured in merely a handful of matches in the last eight months or so and have disappeared from the international scene thereafter.”
Being a keen follower and a seasoned observer of Pakistan cricket, Qasim expressed fears that such an “irrational” selection policy will lead Pakistan cricket to a “disaster”.
“They [the selectors] are judging the credentials of young players on a one-tour basis” he said.
“Inconsistency in the selection of players, particularly the bowlers will prove detrimental to us,” he added.
The former left-arm spinner also expressed his dissatisfaction over the selection of an “inexperienced” bowling line-up.
He said the only experienced bowler in the team is Saeed Ajmal.
Qasim was also not convinced with the selection of fast bowler Aizaz Cheema who was earlier picked for the ODI and T20I series’ against the West Indies but missed the tour due to an injury.
“In my opinion, Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz have not reached the point where ‘resting’ them is essential. In fact, these guys need to play as many matches as they can – they need to master their line and length. Playing more is only going to help them” he added. “If they really had to do it, they should have rested one of them, not both,” he said.