Shahid Afridi proposes idea of two Pakistan teams for men's side

Newly-appointed interim chief selector Afridi says “communication gap” one of the major issues Pakistan cricket team faces

Faizan Lakhani
Pakistan Cricket Boards (PCB) chair of the selection committee Shahid Afridi speaking during a press conference in Karachi on December 27, 2022. — Twitter/PCB
Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) chair of the selection committee Shahid Afridi speaking during a press conference in Karachi on December 27, 2022. — Twitter/PCB 

KARACHI: Seeking to improve bench strength, Pakistan's newly-appointed interim chief selector Shahid Afridi said that he wants to create two teams for the men’s national side.

Talking to media persons in Karachi — the former captain and flamboyant all-rounder of his era — Afridi said he wants to implement this idea before his tenure ends.

During the press conference, Afridi also highlighted a “communication gap” as one of the major issues the Pakistan cricket team is facing, insisting that the chief selector should be in direct contact with individual players to be aware of their positions properly.

Afridi said that when he spoke to Fakhar Zaman and Haris Sohail personally, he got to know a clear picture of the players.

The duo was added to Pakistan’s probable three-match ODI series against New Zealand.

“The major problem that I’ve observed here is the communication gap among management, doctors and the selection committee. It is important for a chief selector – be it me or someone else – to stay in direct contact with players,” he said.

“When I spoke to Haris and Fakhar, I got to know the better picture and I invited them to fitness Test,” he said.

Afridi, however, said that he is not running a one-man show and instead believes in sharing authority, which according to the former captain is an important element for success.

The former skipper said that having experienced individuals like Haroon Rashid is helpful for him along with people like Abdul Razzaq and Rao Iftekhar Anjum who are involved in domestic cricket.

The interim chief selector also had words with the curators of National Stadium and discussed possible wickets for the second Test which starts on January 2.

Afridi said that the wicket for the second test will be a better one.

“It will be something where bowlers will get some support and batters will also enjoy their stay, there will be some bounce on wicket,” Afridi said.

“We can not become a top team by playing on these wickets. The wickets on which we’ve been playing are injurious to our bowlers, pacers will start having fitness issues and spinners will get their fingers injured.”

“Who says we can not produce better wickets in Pakistan. We certainly can if we are allowed to do so,” said the former captain.

Replying to a question, Afridi said that he will try to do justice to all the performers as long as he is working in the position of the chief selector. He added that if the squad was of 25 players, he would’ve surely added Mohammad Huraira to the list of probable. He praised the youngster and said that he has a good future ahead.

“One thing is that our academies are not working for the last 8 months, it is important that we keep them running for our domestic and under-19 performers. I will try to start a camp there for all such youngsters,” the chief selector added.

He said that Babar Azam is the backbone of the Pakistan team and the selection committee is there to support him so that he can get stronger in the field.