Pakistan’s squad for the T20 World Cup has been criticised by quite a few former players from the country. Pace great Shoaib Akhtar, for example, has said that the team has been selected by a chief selector, Mohammad Wasim, who was average. Pakistan’s campaign in the T20 World Cup starts with a match against arch-rivals India on October 23.
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has now said that there are various instances of even the selectors themselves being unaware of the abilities of the players entering the team before big tournaments. He used the example of Shahzaib Hasan, who was fast tracked into the Pakistan team as a teenager before the 2009 T20 World Cup. While Pakistan went on to stunningly win that tournament, Shahzaib didn’t have much of a role in the success and has not played for Pakistan since November 2010.
“I don’t want to make a controversy but there are some facts. Shahzaib Hassan had been taken into the squad. His was the biggest jump, so big that at the time the team was in Dubai and so were the selectors. They were actually asking, ‘Yaar Shahzaib ko kisine dekha hai khelte hue (Has anyone seen Shahzaib play)?” said Butt on ARY News.
Moreover late spin great Abdul Qadir had stepped down as chief selector in 2009 after being in the job for barely six months. “Abdul Qadir sahab had resigned, why had he done that? Just go back and check. God knows exactly who it is that puts the players in the squad. I am not saying that neither the selectors nor the captain or coach takes the players. Someone does but no one comes in front,” he said.
When asked if he feels there are players like that in the Pakistan squad for the 2022 World Cup, Butt said: “Aap dekh lijiye sabke stats nikalke (Just take out their stats and see)
Butt reiterated that top order batter Shan Masood should be in the T20 team. Masood, who is set to captain Yorkshire in 2023 in County cricket, has played just six T20Is in his career. “I have been saying since the past one year that there should be a proper batter after the openers. Even when he did play, he was played in a position that had never trained in his life but even then he gave the result. I actually feel that he can negate the pace and bounce of Australia much better than some of our current players whose job is to just hit. When will we start using these players intelligently,” said Butt.
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