KARACHI: As celebration for Pakistan’s successful campaign in the West Indies subsides, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) crisis may affect the national team that is scheduled to tour Zimbabwe later this month.
The PCB selection committee belatedly announced Pakistan’s U23 squad for the upcoming Asian Cricket Council (ACC) U23 Emerging Cup 2013 without the chief selector. However, the board officials were unsure about the eventual authority that would finalise the national squad for the tour of Zimbabwe.
Pakistan are scheduled to play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 during the sojourn that is expected to kick off by the end of this month. The itinerary of the tour is yet to be released by Zimbabwe Cricket.
PCB interim chairman Najam Sethi had named former captain Moin Khan to replace Iqbal Qasim who resigned after announcing the squads for the recently-concluded tour of the Caribbean.
However, the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) orders termed Sethi’s decisions null and void due to his ‘caretaker’ role. The PCB has appealed the decision and is awaiting the response.
“We don’t know what will happen next,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune when contacted about the plans for team selection for the tour of Zimbabwe.
“The U23 squad has been announced after being advised by the Attorney General of Pakistan who has been authorised to decide ‘day-to-day’ matters as directed by IHC.
“But the selection of the national team definitely requires proper protocol and we would be plagued by problems in the absence of a chief selector. I think this tour is ideal for giving new faces an opportunity. Retaining the squads will not be a smart choice.”
Post-resignation, Qasim expressed his willingness to retake the post for the time being, but the PCB has not shown interest in recalling the former cricketer.
The official pointed out that the national team’s manager Naveed Akram Cheema had also expressed his desire to leave the job after serving for two years and the appointment of a new individual in his place was an added concern for the PCB.
Azam to lead Pakistan U23 squad
Meanwhile, current selection committee members Salim Jaffar, Farrukh Zaman and Azhar Khan finalised the Pakistan U23 squad that was announced yesterday.
All-rounder Hammad Azam will lead Pakistan at the U23 Emerging Cup that is scheduled to run through August 15-26 in Singapore.
Ehsan Adil, Raza Hasan and wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan, who travelled with the senior team to the West Indies, are also a part of the squad.
Pakistan have been placed with India, Afghanistan and Nepal in Group A while the other pool comprises Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the UAE and Singapore.
Pakistan squad for ACC EMERGING CUP 2013
Hammad Azam (captain), Umar Waheed, Babar Azam, Ehsan Adil, Raza Hassan, Umer Siddique, Usman Salahuddin, Usman Qadir, Muhammad Waqas, Bilawal Bhatti, Ruman Rais, Azeem Ghumman, Muhammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper) Nasir Malik, Muhammad Nawaz
Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2013.
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