LAHORE: Former Pakistan leg-spinner and chief selector Abdul Qadir has downplayed Danish Kaneria’s success in county cricket and labelled him a Test-only bowler who should stay away from One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 cricket.
Kaneria, who recently overtook Qadir as Pakistan’s most successful leg-spinner, has been overlooked for the limited-overs format and according to Qadir, it is Kaneria’s poor fielding and batting that is to be blamed.
“Kaneria is playing Test cricket and that is the format he should keep playing,” Qadir told The Express Tribune.
“It doesn’t come as a surprise that he’s being ignored for the ODIs and Twenty20. His fielding is not up to the mark and his batting ability is not good either. So I think it is unfair to blame the selectors or the board for ignoring him.”
Kaneria, with 254 wickets in 58 Tests, was one of the prolific bowlers during the last county season and has been Pakistan’s sole Test spinner in a majority of Tests since Saqlain Mushtaq’s gradual demise in Tests. He was instrumental in Essex being promoted to Division I and topped the county averages in the Championship and Friends Provident Trophy which Essex won.
Qadir, with 238 wickets in 58 Tests however, has downplayed the importance of topping the county charts.
“If I take bowlers from the streets of Lahore to county cricket, even they will be able to bowl out players there in county cricket. You can’t select players on the basis of their county performance as you have your own cricket structure which you select players from.”
Kaneria was expected to resume his Essex duties but has instead opted to participate in the domestic Pentangular Cup that is to take place from April 19 in Karachi. The leg-spinner was also alleged to be involved in spot-fixing by British media after Essex released a statement saying two of their players are under police investigation.
“I saw him playing in the recently- held domestic Twenty20 Cup in Karachi and I even gave him a chance in a Pentangular Cup during my tenure as chief selector but he failed to impress me.”
Qadir was also surprised with the lack of progress Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi has made with his bowling since his debut.
“Afridi had played plenty of international cricket before I gave him tips for his bowling. He acknowledged the help initially but later said that the improvements in his bowling were down to him watching his own videos. In our country, this is a habit that players do not acknowledge help given wholeheartedly. I gave tips to Shane Warne, Anil Kumble and Muttiah Muralitharan and when they talk about help, they always acknowledge my input.”
Qadir was also critical of Pakistan’s selection policy of late and refused to offer his service for the on-going training camp for the World Twenty20.
“Selection must be done on a consistent basis. If you decide to drop someone, there is no point in selecting him again but if you have brought someone back in the team, you need to give him ample time to prove himself again.
“When I was the chief selector, I watched matches to pick the players instead of sitting in air-conditioned rooms and write players’ names from there.”
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