Mohsin defends delay in announcement of World Cup squad

Karachi: Pakistan`s chief selector Mohsin Khan on Sunday said the desire to select the strongest possible squad for the 2011 World Cup has delayed the announcement of the probables for the flagship event of the ICC.

"It is no secret that we want our best available players to be in the World Cup squad but since there are some clearance issues with some players that is why the delay has occurred," the former Test batsman told the media at a reception hosted in his honour at a local university.

Pakistan has taken an extension until January 5 to announce its 30-member preliminary squad although all other teams have already named their players.

Mohsin said that the selectors felt that Pakistan should send its best players for the World Cup and had asked for advice from the board.

"The Board is now sorting out this issue and hopefully we will be able to announce the World Cup probables on Tuesday but I can`t say who will be in or out," he said.

Clear indications are that the selectors want experienced players Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Danish Kaneria to be available for selection for the preliminary squad and have asked for clearance for them.

The PCB in turn after an internal inquiry has now turned to the International Cricket Council for advice on the trio who were under a shadow of doubt over their alleged links with bookmakers.

Mohsin also made it clear that he was not disheartened by the recent performances of the team including the T20 series loss in New Zealand.

"Last year we played against the top teams of the world including Australia, England and South Africa and I thought our team which included number of new players did reasonably well. Infact we won Tests against Australia and England in English conditions and we drew with South Africa," he said.

"Don`t forget it is never easy to play against these teams in conditions that are difficult for batting."

He also pointed out that the performances in limited overs matches had not been consistent but that was because the teams were in a rebuilding phase.

"Our eventual target is the World Cup and we want to send our best team for the tournament. But last year, in terms of talent, I think we have uncovered some good new players."

Mohsin also said that even though New Zealand had lost to India but in their own country they were always a very difficult side to beat.

"Don`t forget they did fairly well in the Test series in India and it has never been easy to beat them in New Zealand. So this tour is a challenging one for our players."


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