Comment: A six-pack attack, but would it deliver?

While they look a formidable lot on paper, their ability to deliver should be apparent soon.

Emmad Hameed April 26, 2014
The stage is now set for Akram to prove his credentials; he has a rich experience as a cricketer and must help scout fast-bowlers who can serve the team in the years ahead. PHOTO: AFP

Perhaps for the first time in history, a selection committee including no less than six members has been sworn in by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).  While the size of the committee is arguable, the pedigree of the members is well established.

Led by chief selector Moin Khan, stalwarts like former Test batsmen Ijaz Ahmed, Shoaib Mohammed and Wajahatullah Wasti.F ormer wicket-keeper batsman Saleem Yousuf and recent bowling coach Mohammad Akram seemingly make up a team that looks capable of delivering the goods.

Barring Yousuf, the selection committee members have been active with the national and domestic teams and should have a fair knowledge of the talent pool available in the country in various age groups.

Yousuf possesses the experience of serving as a selector successfully in the past and has also served as manager and assistant coach of the national team.

Three of the committee members [Moin, Shoaib and Yousuf] are based in Karachi and there might be a bias towards traditionally the biggest cricketing nursery in the country. The hope is that the trio will succeed in dispelling the notion when they get down to selecting various teams.

Their experience and reputation should come in handy if they have the national cause perched above a possible regional bias.

Ijaz was one of the most underrated batsmen of his era and arguably the most successful Pakistan batsman in Australian conditions. He scored five hundreds against the leading side of his generation and has been quietly going about his business as batting coach at the National Cricket Academy, in Lahore.

This is his first tenure as a selector and hopefully he can eye talent in the department in which the national team has struggled most in recent years.

Wasti has been coaching Peshawar and the ZTBL teams and gets his first chance to prove his worth at the national level.

On the other hand, eyebrows have been raised on the selection of Akram who was involved with the national team for more than a year as the bowling coach. He was initially praised for his role with the fast-bowlers, but with the waning performance graph and the implosion in the WorldTwenty20, Akram has had daggers drawn at him.

But after the emergence of Waqar Younis as the hot favourite for the national head coach, Akram had to be ‘adjusted’.

Most of the selectors are set to don more than one hat. Moin is the team manager and chief selector, while either Shoaib or Ijaz are likely to be slotted in the team management.

Akram is also going to serve as a bowling coach at the NCA. The power-packed six’s primary task must remain identifying talent at both junior and senior level.

While they look a formidable lot on paper, their ability to deliver should be apparent soon.

The immediate task for them is to shortlist players for a conditioning camp set to be staged in Lahore. The camp should help the selectors gauge the strength and weaknesses of the players and  more importantly, ascertain their fitness for the challenges ahead.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2014.

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Raz | 7 years ago | Reply

Development of new players and introducing young players like Hammad Azam, Raza Hasan, Ahmed Shahzad, Sami Aslam, Imam-Ul-Haq, Zia-Ul-Haq, Fawad Alam and many many young players into the national set up. I think it is completely false that a cricket crazy nation like Pakistan lacks talent! It is a poor excuse that corrupt PCB officials and bureaucrats make for never developing a professional first class system where young players can tune their skills for the upper levels of the games. Instead they keep going back to failures like Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal! Misbah, Afridi, Younis, Ajmal, Gul will all retire after the 2015 world cup. Replacements for these players need to found ASAP!

Donshon | 7 years ago | Reply

Now we know which player Rashid Latif was referring to when he declined the chief selector post, Ijaz Ahmed. Ijaz has been coaching in NCA? No wonder why we have not seen any good batting talent coming along for some time...

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