London: A perfect storm could be brewing for Pakistan ahead of their ODI series against England as coach Waqar Younis is unhappy with the 16-man team.
According to sources, Waqar almost threatened to quit as Pakistan coach after the country’s cricket chiefs ignored his ‘input’ as far as the one-day team selection is concerned.
Waqar was told that the selectors have made up their mind and that deciding the team wasn’t actually his job.
‘Waqar is really unhappy with team selection for the one-day series against England. He believes that those who picked the squad had already made up their mind about it even before taking his input. All his suggestions were met with deaf ears,’ the source said.
Waqar, a legendary Test pacer and former Pakistan captain, did take part in a conference call from London earlier this week with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt, ODI captain Shahid Afridi and chief selector Mohsin Khan, who all were present in Lahore.
Pakistan sprang a few surprises by including ageing fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and axing allrounder Shoaib Malik from the touring party for the series that will see them playing five One-day Internationals against England Sep 10-22.
Waqar, who took over as Pakistan’s coach after the team’s catastrophic tour of Australia earlier this year, raised several objections during the conference call.
‘Waqar was asked to give his input, which he did. But none of his suggestions were considered,’ said a source.
Waqar was against the idea of including Shoaib in the squad as he raised a question mark over the pacer’s match fitness.
Shoaib, 35, failed to impress on his last two international outings - June’s Asia Cup in Sri Lanka and last month’s Twenty20 Internationals against Australia. In the Asia Cup, he took four wickets from three games and later returned with figures of 2-0-34-0 and 4-0-29-1 in the two T20 games against Australia in Birmingham.
Sources said that Waqar also didn’t like the idea of bringing back big-hitting opener Shahzaib Hasan as he advised the selectors to stick with the opening batsmen currently playing in the Test series against England.
‘Waqar was of the view that any player who will go into the one-day series without getting ample time to adapt to the playing conditions is going to struggle. He wanted Pakistan to stick with the available openers like Salman Butt, Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed for the one-day series.’