After hours of deliberation, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) opted to delay the team announcement for the tour of West Indies by a day.
The squad for the tour was due to be announced yesterday as the selection committee, headed by Mohsin Khan, met with PCB Chairman Ijaz Butt and limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi while deliberating over the squad before Pakistan travel to the Caribbean to play one Twenty20, five One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Test matches.
The announcement was deferred in wake of the ceremony called by the Punjab chief minister in honour of the Pakistan team reaching the semi-final of the World Cup. The minister awarded each player a Rs500,000 award.
However, The Express Tribune understands that Abdul Razzaq, Umar Gul and Younus Khan, who were part of the World Cup squad, will be rested to nurture younger players.
Miandad tipped as batting coach
Afridi said that he has asked the selection committee to consider having a permanent batting coach for the team. He also urged for the induction of younger players for the tour.
Talking to media after the meeting at the Gaddafi Stadium, the all-rounder said that he had advised the board to consider Javed Miandad as a batting consultant.
“Our biggest fear was our batting in the World Cup,” said Afridi. “So accepting there are batting problems we‘ve told Miandad that the country needs him.”
However, according to officials, Miandad is reluctant to have a full time position but would, instead, share tips with the squad if the PCB wants.
Afridi added that senior players will be rested for the tour and they would be replaced by young players.
Meanwhile, Gul’s inclusion was also doubtful and Afridi revealed that the fast-bowler “made himself unavailable so he will not be considered for the tour”.
During the meeting, four players were discussed to be called up for the tour including wicket-keeper Mohammad Salman, Tanvir Ahmed, Azhar Ali and Hammad Azam.
“I don’t fear any vacuum if the senior players are rested as our aim is to groom youngsters for the future. But that doesn’t mean we want to discard the seniors.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2011.
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