The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday responded to a statement made by Senator Mushahidullah Khan and clarified its position on the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination.
Earlier this week, members of Senate’s Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination rejected the briefing given by Director Domestic Cricket Operations Haroon Rashid and were livid at CB Chairman Ehsan Mani and Chief Executive Wasim Khan’s failure to attend the session.
Mushahidullah during the briefing had alleged Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad were selected in the squad on someone’s Sifarish.
PML-N Senator Mushahidullah alleged that the head coach Misbah-ul-Haq was forced to select the duo Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal due to ‘Sifarish (unjustified recommendation)’ from higher authorities.
The comments came after the duo were given two chances each in the T20 series against Sri Lanka but both failed horribly on each occasion. Akmal, in particular, was out on golden duck twice.
Pakistan Cricket Board later clarified stance of Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad.
“Firstly, Misbah-ul-Haq, along with the selection committee, is completely empowered to select the best available players to represent Pakistan, taking into account the player performances, form, fitness and using his own judgement, assessment and insight — a right he has earned through his illustrious career,” a statement by PCB said.
“Secondly, the PCB encourages and ensures the independence of its selectors enabling them to work without any fear or favour. This key practice was maintained in the selection of the Pakistan cricket team for the series against Sri Lanka, and neither Misbah was influenced by the PCB nor by the upper circles,” it added.
The PCB further said Shehzad and Akmal had earned selections through their performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
“In PSL 2019, Ahmed had scored 311 runs in eight matches at an average of 51.83 with a strike-rate of 126.93. He had hit 30 fours and eight sixes. As far as Akmal is concerned, he had scored 277 runs in 12 matches at an average of 34.62 with a strike-rate of 137.12. He had hit 18 fours and 16 sixes,” the board said.
Both the players were members of Quetta Gladiators, which won the tournament in front of a packed National Stadium and millions of television viewers.
On the subject of Mani and Khan not attending the meeting, the board said the letter dated October 8, 2019, addressed to PCB chairman had ‘requested that senior representatives may attend the aforesaid meeting along with all concerned’.
The PCB chairman and chief executive had been travelling for ICC meetings, Director Domestic Cricket Operations Haroon Rashid and Senior Legal Counsel Barrister Salman Naseer were nominated to represent the PCB as the nominated individuals are knowledgeable and relevant to the agenda item communicated for the meeting i.e. briefing by PCB regarding the new domestic cricket structure.
“This was communicated through PCB’s letter” the board added.