Responding to discarded all-rounder Abdul Razzaq’s statements that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has adopted a biased attitude towards the senior players, chief selector Mohsin Khan said that worthy cricketers can regain their place in the national team.
Razzaq, who was sidelined after the World Cup, accused some PCB officials of conspiring against the senior players by snubbing them from the national team to strengthen their own positions in the board.
The all-rounder, who has played 262 One-Day Internationals (ODI), 46 Tests and 26 Twenty20s, said that for the past few months, the PCB has been unfair to the seniors.
While former captain Shahid Afridi developed differences with the team management and announced a conditional retirement, seasoned campaigners including Mohammad Yousuf, wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal, all-rounder Rana Navedul Hasan have missed out on selection due to fitness and form issues, according to the selectors. The PCB also overlooked the bowling trio of Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz and Abdur Rehman for the Zimbabwe series.
‘It’s a conspiracy’
Razzaq, who last played for Pakistan in the Mohali semi-final against India, felt a lobby inside the PCB is working against the seniors and misguiding the chairman Ijaz Butt.
“It’s a conspiracy against the senior players,” said Razzaq in an interview.
“There’s a lobby which is misguiding the chairman who is working sincerely for the promotion of the game.
“They just want to secure their position in the board and their agenda is against the interest of Pakistan cricket,” added the all-rounder.
“I’m fit and performing well for my county team,” said Razzaq who has done well for Leicestershire in the county season.
“It hurts as I have been out of the team for no reason and I have a couple of years left.”
Mohsin dismisses allegations
Meanwhile, the chief selector has dismissed the accusation.
“It’s the job of the selection committee to finalise the team,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune. “I don’t know about any lobby and I don’t feel there is any agenda against the senior players.
“The selection committee is working on a simple policy that any player who is doing well should get a chance. We just want to give a chance to the youngsters who are our future,” said Mohsin.
“If there was an agenda then we wouldn’t have a 35-year old captain [Misbahul Haq] who is also a very senior player.”
However, the chief selector said that he admired the calibre of Razzaq.
“I’ve always admired Razzaq’s ability and he’s a match winning all-rounder. The seniors should not be disheartened and should work on winning their place by proving their worth in the domestic tournaments.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2011.