Pakistan players selected on basis of connections, not performance, claims Shoaib - GulfToday

Pakistan players selected on basis of connections, not performance, claims Shoaib


Pakistan’s former captain Shoaib Malik levelled serious charges against the PCB. File

Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik has levelled allegations of selection bias against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), saying that players get picked based on connections and not on performance.

Malik’s comments come in the wake of the PCB selection committee reportedly ignoring captain Babar Azam’s suggestions on the selection of players for the recently-concluded Test series in Zimbabwe that Pakistan won 2-0 in Harare.

“We have a system of liking and disliking in our cricket, which is something that is present in the rest of the world as well, but seems to be a bit more in our culture. The day things change in our cricket system, where more importance is given to skills rather than who a person knows, only then will things improve,” Malik told Malik said the selection should be made purely on merit, and that skipper Azam should get a free hand to choose his team.

“In the recent squad there were many players who Babar wanted to pick, but they weren’t selected. Everyone has their opinions but the final decision on selection should be that of the captain because it’s he who will fight it out on the ground with his team,” said Malik.

Malik conceded that his chance of making it to the national side after his criticism of the cricket board were bleak.

“Whatever is in my fate is in the hands of the Almighty and not in any person’s control. I will have no regrets if I am not asked to play again, but I would have felt more regret if I had not spoken up on behalf of my fellow cricketers,” said Malik.

Malik played his last T20I, against England, in September last year and his last ODI, against India, was in June 2019.

Meanwhile, Pakistan pace bowler Wahab Riaz has called Indian Premier League (IPL) incomparable and the No. 1 T20 franchise league in the world, but added that bowling standard of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is the best.

“IPL is a league where all the top international players come and play. You can’t compare IPL with PSL, I believe IPL is at a different level. Their commitments, the way they run things, communicate things, the way they draft the players -- that is totally different. I don’t think any league can compete with the IPL,” said Riaz in an interview on Cricket Pakistan Youtube channel.

The left-armer, who has played 27 Tests, 91 ODIs and 36 T20 Internationals, said that PSL is the second best league in the world behind IPL.

“But if there is any league that stands behind it, it has to be the PSL. The League in Pakistan has proved it,” he said.

Riaz, who represents Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL and won the Player-of-the-Match award for his four-wicket haul against Islamabad United in his last T20 in the tournament before it was postponed due to Covid-19 cases, said bowling standard in PSL is better than even in IPL.

“The bowling level in PSL is the highest in the world and you don’t get that in IPL either. That is why, if you see, high-scoring matches are less in PSL. I think the main difference cricket-wise is that in PSL, every team has the best bowling attacks in the world,” he added.


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