Out-of-favour Fawad Alam opens up about non-selection

Published: April 17, 2017
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ON HIS TOES: Fawad says he has made a commitment to himself to not give up on the chance of making it to the national team and keeps company with people who motivate and encourage him. PHOTO: AFP

ON HIS TOES: Fawad says he has made a commitment to himself to not give up on the chance of making it to the national team and keeps company with people who motivate and encourage him. PHOTO: AFP

If you pose the question of Fawad Alam’s non-selection to anyone in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), you are surely going to receive a wavering answer and the left-handed batsman thinks the reasons behind his continuous snub are obious.

The 31-year-old, who has the highest average in Pakistan’s first-class history, says everyone is picked on their domestic performance while he is ignored time and again.

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“There are a lot of reasons. I cannot enlist them on screen but favouritism is there,” Fawad said in a PTV Sports show Red Zone. “People think it is a rumour but it is a reality. Newcomers are inducted into the national team and are said to be the performers in the domestic circuit, but then where is Fawad Alam scoring all those runs? Is he performing in Bangladesh’s domestic cricket? He is not selected on his domestic performance while everyone else is picked based on the same criteria.”

When asked what is he doing about it? He said: “I don’t understand this [why I am not being picked]. However, I, at times think, that I am not destined to play for Pakistan. But I am fighting and trying my best to do whatever I can, and I believe good things come to those who wait.”

And how does he keep himself motivated? “I’m not the only one who has faced all this. This gives me hope and I have made a commitment to myself to not give up. When you are playing a lot of people will try to bring you down and only a few will help you lift yourself up. So I try to stay with people who encourage me.”

Test sacking

Fawad scored 168 on his debut Test against Sri Lanka back in 2009 when Younus Khan was leading the side. He was then played in only two more Tests before being dropped and never getting a chance again.

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“The turning point was when I sent back after the first Test against New Zealand,” he explained. “I was given no reason for it; I was just told to pack my bags and leave for Pakistan. There are a lot of things that happened. I don’t want to name anyone because it won’t be good for them I guess. I know everything and I’ve heard people talk about everything. I know the real reasons why I was sent back, why I was and am still made a target, because of whom I am targeted; everyone knows these realities.”

Inability to hit big

The biggest critics of Fawad argue that his inability to clear the boundary might prove to be risky for Pakistan. However, the left-handed batsman believes this line of reasoning to be absurd.

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“I can’t say anything about that, it’s their opinion,” he said. “But I think runs are not scored only with sixes and fours, they are scored mainly with singles and doubles. You need to know how to improvise. And when the time comes to go big, I am not going to blow my own trumpet, but everyone knows what I have done. I don’t need to tell anyone anything. I know my ability. You cannot stop people from speaking about you. People bring up excuses to not include me. They need to say something.”

PSL snub

Fawad was selected by Karachi Kings as a reserve player during the first edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and believes people who complained that players were unable to rotate the strike should have picked him instead.

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“I wasn’t hopeless [before the draft] but I did feel sad when I wasn’t picked in the first team for Karachi Kings,” said Fawad. “However, when everyone said that players need to learn to rotate strike and take singles and doubles to achieve a 130-run target, I used to laugh that you don’t want a player who can do that in the team and then you are complaining about those things.”

‘Give time to Sarfraz’

Pakistan’s limited-overs sides are being captained by Sarfraz Ahmed — with the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan hinting at him being given the Test leadership role too — and Fawad thinks he should be given time to deliver results for the team.

“You need to give him time before evaluating him,” he said. “It is not easy to captain the Pakistan side because a lot of things are happening at simultaneously. It is a learning process. He won both [ODI and T20I] series against the West Indies and I hope that he continues to prosper.”

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Reader Comments (17)

  • Zeeshan Mehtab
    Apr 17, 2017 - 4:04PM

    Fawad do not loose hope. I am your fan since you first came into Pakistani team. I know people have changed their mind a lot. A few years back when I used to say “Why they did not pick Fawad” then many of my friends said he can not hit sixes but now same people accept that you are the best option for a middle order batter. And yes we all know the reason why you are not selected. It has got nothing to do with how you play. You are perfect cricketer to represent Pakistan in at least Test and ODI. And statistics show that you have better strike rate then many of current Pakistan batters.

    Time will come when tables will turn into your favour. But you will have to remain fit till that time. Best of luck brother.Recommend

  • Apr 17, 2017 - 4:50PM

    Whatever you say about him, he performs whenever given a chance. FAWAD ALAM, i am a fan of you and one day you will rock!!!

    One advice, don’t keep quiet thinking these monsters will give you a chance, if you keep them unnamed, live like a lion, which you are !!! tell the whole world!!Recommend

  • ed
    Apr 17, 2017 - 4:57PM

    Best of Luck to Fawad. Time tests the best. Keep your chin high and your eyes set on stars. Your integrity, hard work and perseverance will prevail – Insha Allah.Recommend

  • ahmad
    Apr 17, 2017 - 5:05PM

    It’s a pity that he is not given a chance in test and ODI’s Recommend

  • Fuzail Zubaid Ahmad
    Apr 17, 2017 - 5:12PM

    Fawad Alam, I know many people who are you admirers, including myself. You have wasted yourself hoping to be selected for Pakistan team. You should have shown your batting prowess in the T20 format, and that would have at least made you rich, playing worldwide. I wish you all the best. Recommend

  • Chetan
    Apr 17, 2017 - 5:16PM

    Crying baby only gets the milk, make noise PCB might listen to you Recommend

  • Shahid
    Apr 17, 2017 - 5:21PM

    We know you are the most deserving candidate. Your example also tells what’s wrong with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Farooq
    Apr 17, 2017 - 6:53PM

    With the loss of Misbah and Younis to retirement, former players and “experts” rue that replacements have not been readied for these 2 middle order batsmen. However experienced and hard working players like Fawad Alam are turned away time and time again… He is a major victim to regional politics!Recommend

  • Taha
    Apr 17, 2017 - 9:03PM

    Quality player with better strike rate wish you all the best.Recommend

  • MJ-Sid
    Apr 17, 2017 - 10:58PM

    He was born in the wrong part of our country.Recommend

  • Mastuj
    Apr 17, 2017 - 11:55PM

    I cannot understand this. Fawad – big fan of yours. Please do not give up. You WILL play for Pakistan. Nobody compares to you – except Misbah and he’s now gone….Recommend

  • Mohammed - - - Auckland
    Apr 18, 2017 - 1:38AM

    And one would think Inzi came to fix all these problems in PCB.Recommend

  • MMM
    Apr 18, 2017 - 9:36AM

    @MJ-Sid:
    you have hit the nail on the head!!!Recommend

  • Bilal
    Apr 18, 2017 - 9:57AM

    Fawad is a great player and could be a good replacement for misbah or younis. He is 31 but it’s never too late.Recommend

  • yeh ziadtee hai!
    Apr 18, 2017 - 10:29AM

    injustice man injustice. remember how we snubbed Imran Tahir and he was forced to go to SA – look at him he is now the no1 bowler in the world! Nepotism will rot Pak Cricket. Wakeup PCB! if Fawad was any other part of the world he would have been a Smith or Williamson. Alas our luckRecommend

  • Hassan
    Apr 19, 2017 - 8:17PM

    @Mastuj: If that was the reason then Younis, Afridi, Sharjeel, Sarfaraz, Shahzaib would not have been in the team. He is a fine player and reasons can be nepotism not necessarily he is from Karachi. We have had some exciting players from Karachi.Recommend

  • MJ-Sid
    Apr 25, 2017 - 5:03AM

    @Hassan … the only person on your list that can be compared to Fawad is Sarfaraz. He was born in the the same city and has the same ethnicity. The rest speak languages that are favored during team selection … plain and simple. If it was not for the pathetic keeping standards set up by the Akmal brothers and Zulqurnain haider leaving the country due to him falling out of favor of the bookies, you wouldn’t have even Sarfarz be in the playing 11, let alone the captain. Recommend

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