Relieved Qasim lauds achievement

Former chief selector revels in choice of team selection.

Fawad Hussain July 25, 2013
Qasim said Misbah’s batting form was the biggest difference between the two sides and applauded his effort in the five-match series. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Amid the celebration that marked Pakistan’s One-Day International (ODI) series win over the West Indies, it was a relieved Iqbal Qasim who congratulated the team on their resilient performance.

The former Pakistan Cricket Board chief selector was behind naming the ODI and Twenty20 (T20) squads for the ongoing tour before resigning from his post.

Qasim was criticised when the team returned home after their winless Champions Trophy campaign, following which he asked the board not to extend his one-year contract.

Before his departure, Qasim faced questions over his decision to include some of the players with Shahid Afridi’s comeback raising many eyebrows.

“I made all the decisions in the team’s interest,” Qasim told The Express Tribune.

“I am delighted with the win and can foresee a bright future for Pakistan. This victory is crucial and was needed after the poor results in the Champions Trophy.”

The former cricketer credited man-of-the-series Misbahul Haq with the triumph.

“The main credit goes to Misbah. He designed the win by anchoring Pakistan’s innings throughout the series. He has been very impressive and I hope that he continues to perform for a long time.

“Our middle-order batting remains a worry despite this series win. Only Misbah is performing while the rest are not being consistent.”

‘Impressive comebacks by Afridi and Akmal’

Qasim was also satisfied with the performance of Afridi and Umar Akmal.

“I am happy for Afridi, he proved himself in the first match and then again with a crucial cameo in the final game.

“Umar also showed responsibility while his wicket-keeping was satisfactory as well. Our fast-bowlers were impressive and bowled well to curb the West Indies.”

Qasim seemed hopeful for positive results in the upcoming two-match Twenty20 series against the Caribbean side. “We have a good combination. The West Indies are the world champions in this format but I am optimistic about Pakistan’s chances.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2013.

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