Haroon Rasheed is pleased with the ‘youngsters’ in Sri Lanka

Chief selector talks about the 'life' injected by the newer players in to the team against matches with Sri Lanka

Sports Desk July 21, 2015
"Our performances in Sri Lanka show that the youngsters are coming up well ," said Rasheed. PHOTO: AFP

KARCHI: Pakistan selection committee head, Haroon Rasheed is of the opinion that a steady stream of fresh talent has not only made the job of selectors easier, it has also put pressure on the more experienced players to perform competitively.

Rasheed, who was a former Test batman, said that the selectors had a crystal clear policy which stated that seniority alone will not guarantee a player place in the team and that those veterans who did not perform at par throughout will be overlooked from the national team in both formats.

"We are looking at the future and at the next World T20 Cup," said Haroon.

"Our performances in Sri Lanka show that the youngsters are coming up well and that is a very good sign for Pakistan cricket."

Rasheed said that from now on while the inexperienced, younger players would be given more chances to demonstrate their skill in international cricket, players who exceeded thirty would have to produce emphatic performances in the matches to secure their spot.

"We expect the senior players to perform when they play and show more consistency and responsibility like Shoaib Malik has done in Sri Lanka or like Younus Khan did in the third Test," he noted.

"Any senior player who is not consistently good enough will have to give way for younger players."

The chief selector also spoke about Shahid Afridi, the much loved all-rounder who retired from one-days after the World Cup but continues to lead the team in T20s.

Rasheed said that that he hoped to see the spirited, experienced cricketer turn-around his form.

"We are expecting him to do more and prepare a strong side for the World T20. It may sound hard but we don't want players playing on reputation alone," he said.

While elaborating on the benefits of the presence of younger players in ODI and T20 sides, Rasheed noted that performance in the field has also improved.

There was more enthusiasm geared towards winning matches than before, he said.

Recently, Pakistan gave a decisive performance against Sri Lanka in the third ODI, winning it by 135 runs. This allowed the national team to 2-1 lead in the five match series currently being held in Sri Lanka.

For Pakistan this series is a must win for it to have a shot at qualifying for the 2017 Champions Trophy.

When questioned about Umar Akmal’s possible inclusion in the T20 squad after his removal from the ODIs, the chief selector responded that such a decision could only be made after talking to the respective format captain.

"But I think Umar now needs to decide himself how much focus he is going to give to cricket. How much he is going to change his attitude towards cricket. He now needs to start doing much more and we need to see a hunger in him to play for the national side."

This article originally appeared in NDTV

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