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Wednesday Mar 17 2021

'I don't understand PCB's selection criteria,' says Shahid Afridi

Former Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi. Photo: File
  • Shahid Afridi says he does not understand standard for selection of players employed by PCB 
  • Says if board invests in new players, they have to be pushed forward.
  • Says PSL shouldn't have been postponed; PCB had to postpone PSL 6 as it did not have a plan B to handle the situation.

LAHORE: Former Pakistani skipper Shahid Afridi on Wednesday said he was unable to understand the "standard of selection which the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) adopts".

Afridi also said the PCB did not make a plan for the Pakistan Super League's (PSL) sixth edition because of which it had to be postponed. 

The former skipper was speaking to the media during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between his and the Governor of Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar's foundation in Lahore.

Shahid Afridi said that selectors, coaches, and captains form a team together. "Now, I am hearing that there are differences between them but these matters should not be leaked. It's wrong to leak internal matters of the board."  

The former skipper went on to say the most important role in the selection of the team is played by the captain as they have to make decisions on field. 

"There is a lot of pressure on the skipper. He also has to answer questions to the media. If you want to take Babar Azam with you in the future, you have to give him power. We have to work with him," he said. "Most importantly, the internal matters of the team shouldn't be leaked."

Afridi said he does not understand the method of selection of the team and questioned the criteria based on which players are picked. 

"Players who have merely played two matches are being selected. For instance, Naseem Shah was selected and he was allowed to play with very experienced bowlers. But now, Naseem Shah is nowhere to be seen. If you invest in a player, you have to take them forward [with the team]," Afridi opined.

Shedding light on the PSL's sixth edition, which had to be called off after several players tested positive for COVID-19 despite staying in the biosecure bubble, Afridi said that the tournament should not have been postponed. 

"I don't think the PSL should have been postponed. The Pakistan Super League is a very big brand of Pakistan. It is our honour but the PCB  did not seem to have a Plan B in place," he said. 

He added that the PCB was aware that handling the COVID-19 situation was a challenge, therefore, it should have been prepared accordingly. 

"Athletes can test positive for the coronavirus. Ideally, those who had tested positive should have been asked to quarantine instead of postponing the event altogether," he said.

 "The PCB should have given international players the option to either stay or leave the country, but the PSL shouldn't have been delayed. But the PCB did not have a contingency plan in place [to make decisions]."