The presence of the out-of-favour Mohammad Yousuf and Kamran Akmal at National Cricket Academy (NCA) training sessions has incensed the national selection committee which was reportedly not taken into confidence before the invitation was handed out to the duo.
Yousuf, who last played for Pakistan in the 2010 Lord’s Test against England, is believed to have passed his prime but underwent a fitness test besides training regularly at the NCA under the supervision of coach Dav Whatmore. Similarly, Akmal, who has not been part of the team since his below-par show in the 2011 World Cup, was also part of the tests.
It has been learnt that the selection committee has not invited the players to be part of proceedings and is extremely unhappy over the hype they are getting, including the prospects of their return to the national squad.
‘Selectors not interested’
The selectors are also unhappy with the impression that the selection committee is showing interest on such players.
“Initially, these players came to the NCA to practice on their own,” the official told The Express Tribune. “Nobody can stop a national cricketer from training at the NCA. But now they’ve started using their aides to make hype about their return to the squad. This is being done to bring the selectors under pressure. The selection committee is also unhappy with Whatmore as it feels that the coach is giving them undue importance.”
However, the official added that in order to avoid undue controversy, the selectors have not protested so far.
“But there may be a rift when the team is being selected and if the coaches opt for these players. The selectors want players wishing to make it to the national squad to perform and show their worth in domestic cricket to force their selection rather than other tactics. The selectors feel recalling tried and tested players will disturb their plans of preparing young blood.”
Yousuf, who last played for Pakistan in the 2010 Lord’s Test against England, is believed to have passed his prime.
Akmal, who has not been part of the team since his below-par show in the 2011 World Cup, was also part of the tests.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.
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