Base of Pakistan cricket broadened: Iqbal

KARACHI: Chief selector Iqbal Qasim said on Tuesday that his committee has broadened the base of Pakistan cricket by choosing different combinations for Twenty20 games, One-day Internationals and Test matches.

‘It’s a new experience and format under two captains — Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi,’ Iqbal, a former Test left-arm spinner, said here. ‘The new selection [method] has expanded selection and created more opportunities for players.

‘The selection committee has taken various aspects into consideration while picking longer version [Test], shorter version [ODI] and Twenty20 teams,’ he pointed out over the three Pakistan squads named recently for the New Zealand series.

Iqbal negated the impression that the selectors have made wrong choices by picking the good one-day players for the Test matches.

‘Our main criterion for selection is the form of the players in domestic and nternational cricket,’ he stated.

He further said that the selectors have to take the viewpoints of Younis while finalising Test and ODI teams and consult Afridi for the Twenty20 squad. ‘It’s a ticklish position for us because both the captains have their own thinking and we have to satisfy both of them.’

Iqbal said they have picked three specialist openers —Imran Farhat, Salman Butt and Khalid Latif — for the ODI series against New Zealand.

He added that selection of the teams for the (New Zealand) series and performances of the players will carry them forward for the series against Australia.

He said Khalid Latif is also good for Test matches but has been inducted in ODI and Twenty20 squads and may get his chance in Tests in the future.

‘We’ll make adjustments according to the performance of the players with the passage of time,’ he added.

He rejected the notion that they have no say in the selection process and that they are dictated by captains and PCB officials in picking teams.

‘Besides taking various aspects into account we are also keeping an eye on the squad selection for the World Twenty20 in the West Indies where Pakistan will be defending their crown,’ Iqbal said.—APP

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