Out-of-favour Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has opted to pursue his interests in England after being overlooked since the series against Sri Lanka as well as for the ongoing fitness tests in Lahore.
Razzaq will turn up for Leicestershire in the team’s Twenty20 campaign after having recovered from a shoulder injury ‘to an extent’. However, after being ignored by the coaching panel, headed by Dav Whatmore, that is conducting training and the fitness tests, Razzaq has decided to make this decision.
“I keep getting overlooked, maybe the authorities don’t like me,” Razzaq told The Express Tribune while expressing his disappointment on being ignored. “I can’t do anything about it because it’s up to them, they select the team.”
Several players, including the 37-year-old Mohammad Yousuf and sidelined wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, were part of the camp held at the NCA, triggering talks of their return to the national team.
Meanwhile, the all-rounder, who has played 265 One-Day Internationals and 46 Tests for Pakistan, said he was ready to play cricket again.
“I’ll definitely love to make a return to the team like any other national cricketer. My shoulder injury has improved and hopefully I’ll attain complete fitness soon enough.”
However, the 32-year old, citing a lack of interest at the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) end, said he will feature in the county season to keep himself fit. “I will play in the Twenty20 event for my team Leicestershire and for that I will leave next month.”
While nursing the shoulder injury, Razzaq was embroiled in a controversy as he participated in the Bangladesh Premier League, leaving then chief selector Mohammad Illyas annoyed. Illyas claimed the all-rounder showed his unavailability for the national team due to the injury ahead of the England ODIs but went on to play the league.
However, Razzaq denied that this was the case, saying that he communicated to the official that he was unable to deliver a full quota of 10 overs due to the shoulder pain.
A senior PCB official also ruled out any disciplinary action against the all-rounder, saying inviting players for such initiatives are the discretion of the selection committee and the coaching panel.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2012.