THE all compromising selection of the teams to take on Sri Lanka in the forthcoming series leaves no margin for criticism except that the selectors in their please-all policy did not consider themselves as well to be the part of the three squads they have picked.
That obviously is no slight on their newly acquired methodology of picking players for a tour but in fact a matter of appreciation for their courage and conviction to bring in the discarded performers as the likes of Mohammad Sami, Faisal Iqbal, Ahmed Shahzad and Imran Farhat to provide them the opportunity to redeem themselves to regain their lost place and pride.
Pity though that Mohammad Yousuf’s attempt to re-enter the arena did not come to fruition because he did not meet the conditions required to be considered for selection. He was, in his heyday, a delight to watch at the crease but he should have also realised the old adage that ‘every dog has his day’ and that he has had his to the pleasure of all of us.
It is nice to see, too, that those young men who have done well on the domestic circuit like Afaq Raheem and Mohammad Ayub Dogar have also been given a lifetime opportunity to prove their talent at the international level. I hope that they if situation comes are given opportunity to play on the tour.
Domestic cricket is obviously meant to unearth talent and then channel that in the right direction. Sadly, for years this has not been the case, the reason why players at domestic circuit sulked as they discovered the realities of biased and mind-boggling selection of players, brought in without much to show at the domestic level. That was on personal whims of the so-called selectors subservient to people above them. Things I suppose do not seem to be like that for the moment with Iqbal Qasim at the helm.
I am glad that not much issue has been made as far as appointment of the captains is concerned. Certain sections of the media with vested interest did lobby around for a change, unnecessarily asking for Misbah-ul-Haq’s ouster as captain.
Sanity has prevailed and Misbah has rightly been given the job that he deserves because he has unquestionably gelled an outfit which had no one to show them the discipline that is required to be reckoned and respected.
In a way it may have come as a blessing that he is now relieved of the responsibility to lead the side in Twenty20 version as well.
I think he has enough of it on his plate already. Admirable too that he maintains an envious record at all levels. But there always comes a time when things need to be seen in the right perspective keeping future in mind as well.
Charismatic men like Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan in a way should also feel happy that they are spared the pressure to play the dual role of looking after the team as captain and then perform too.
Mohammad Hafeez is a useful cricketer and when on song he does look valuable for the team but his consistency needs to be improved to keep him going at the highest level. At domestic level, he, I have been told, has led well and may do that in his role as the leader at international level. But we will have to wait and see if he has the gumption and the skills that make a good leader of men. Already a couple of clairvoyant like past officials of the PCB are unsure that he is a captaincy material. Only time will tell.