Former Test cricketer wants PCB to sack chief selector after Asia Cup debacle

Asif Ali and Iftikhar Ahmed are of club standard and they should not be selected even for domestic teams, says Sadiq Mohammad

By
Alam Zeb Safi
Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim speaks to media in this undated file photo. -Courtesy PCB
Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim speaks to media in this undated file photo. -Courtesy PCB

  • Calls grow for changes in PCB management.
  • Former Test cricketer alleges favouritism in team selection.
  • Sadiq Mohammad suggests changes in T20 batting order.


Frustrated with the team’s performance in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2022, where the Pakistani team lost to Sri Lanka in the final, former Test cricketer Sadiq Mohammad has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to replace chief selector Mohammad Waseem.

“It’s the right time to change this selection committee, especially Mohammad Waseem,” Sadiq told The News, "as they have failed" to constitute a solid T20 team.

Expressing concern over the undisciplined batting from Pakistan, Sadiq said that there were only two proper batsmen in the squad — skipper Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan and the rest were just sloggers.

A former left-handed opener, Sadiq Mohammad played 41 Tests and 19 ODIs for Pakistan.

“It seems that Asif and Iftikhar are favourites of our chief selector. They are selected in the team for all away tours although they haven't done well. I think that they should be rested for good,” Sadiq said, putting a question mark on the selection criteria.

Pakistans Asif Ali is bowled by Sri Lankas Wanindu Hasaranga during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket final match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on September 11, 2022. —AFP
Pakistan's Asif Ali is bowled by Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasaranga during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket final match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on September 11, 2022. —AFP

“These two batsmen are of club standard and they should not be selected even for the domestic regional teams as it will deprive the upcoming deserving youngsters [of being selected],” Sadiq said.

He said that batsmen with good techniques can help Pakistan achieve targets through sensible batting “the way Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas and Asif Iqbal used to do,” he added.

Changes in batting order

The former cricketer said Pakistan direly needed solid batsmen in the middle order.

He said that batting coach Mohammad Yousuf must be giving lectures on how to play but the current middle order batsmen have not got the mind to learn the tactics of the game.

“Asif, Iftikhar and, to some extent, Fakhar Zaman cannot take ones and twos. Fakhar could have been better as an opener as he would have utilised the circle in the power-play in the Asia Cup.”

Sadiq agreed with former Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur’s suggestion to separate Babar Azam and Mohamad Rizwan.

“Coach Saqlain should have taken a decision or suggested to Babar Azam to play at No 3 as he was going through a lean patch,” Sadiq said.

“I would suggest that Imam-ul-Haq open with Rizwan in all T20s due to his correct technique. And they should be followed by Babar, Shan Masood and Abdullah Shafiq.

"Forget about the strike rate of Fakhar Zaman as he has never been consistent,” Sadiq said.

“A technically correct middle order batsman can also hit sixes and he is capable of keeping the scoreboard ticking and keeps bringing seven to eight runs in an over,” he added.