Amidst Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee’s decision – sans their head – to announce teams for the tour of Zimbabwe soon, former chief selector and head coach Mohsin Khan has stressed the inclusion of numerous new faces for the upcoming assignment.
Pakistan are scheduled to play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and one Twenty20 during the tour which is expected to kick off by the end of this month. The itinerary is yet to be released by Zimbabwe Cricket.
According to a PCB official, the team is being finalised by selection committee members Salim Jaffar, Farrukh Zaman and Azhar Khan. They are working without a chief selector after court orders overruled PCB’s interim chairman Najam Sethi.
“The list has almost been finalised,” the official told The Express Tribune. “The captain [Misbahul Haq] and coach [Dav Whatmore] have given their feedback on selection for the tour of Zimbabwe. And these will be taken into consideration.”
Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the selection committee is against the inclusion of too many new faces as India did in their recently concluded tour with Zimbabwe. Instead, they want to fight struggling Zimbabwe with a full-strength side.
Apart from recalling a few sidelined youngsters such as fast-bowler Anwar Ali and Khurram Manzoor, the selection committee wants to play it safe and retain most of the players who toured the Caribbean. Seasoned Younus Khan and Taufiq Umar also appear set to return to the Test side.
No need to select full strength squad: Mohsin
However, Mohsin is not convinced with the notion of banking on full strength. “This is a tour to test our young players,” said the former chief selector.
“We are not hosting international matches and nowadays our youngsters show much inconsistency in their performance at the domestic and international level.
“It is comparatively an easy series and I feel apart from three to four important senior players, the rest of the faces must be new ones.
“The selectors should not care about the results because discovering new talent, even if it just one or two new finds, will be more beneficial for us.
“On the other hand, the seniors who will not be picked will get rest before the important home series [UAE] against South Africa and Sri Lanka after this tour.”
The former coach also advised authorities to name a new vice captain under Misbahul Haq. “It’s time to groom a youngster who can replace Misbah as captain in the coming years.”
Mohsin, who served for the PCB in various capacities, advised them to take assistance from former greats employed by the board.
“The PCB has a former great wicket-keeper Wasim Bari who served as a chief selector for a long time. Then PCB director Intikhab Alam has heavy credentials as coach and manager. Their experience must be utilised amidst this crisis of the selection committee.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2013.
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