abdul razzaq, shoaib malik, shahid afridi, zaka ashraf, mohammad hafeez, pakistan cricket, pakistan cricket board, pcb, pakistan world twenty20, world t20, t20 world cup, pakistan india world t20, razzaq hafeez
“There is a big question mark on the performance of several senior players including former captains Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik (l).” - Photo by AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf cleared the air surrounding the now controversial exclusion of veteran all-rounder Abdul Razzaq from the World Twenty20 semi-final, terming the decision a unanimous one taken in the interest of the team.

“It was not my decision to exclude all-rounder Abdul Razzaq from the team for semi-final of the World Twenty20. The team management decided the formation of the team with mutual consultation before the semi-final and it is not wise to blame any one on the exclusion or selection,” The Nation quoted Ashraf as saying.

Ashraf also threw his weight behind under-fire captain Mohammad Hafeez amid rumours that his decisions had created divisions within the team.

“Reaching semi-final was an achievement on part of our team which gave good performance in the mega event but sadly it could not reach the final.

Victory and defeat go hand in hand but one thing is very clear that our team played better than many teams as we were above than the teams like England and South Africa in the mega event,” he said.

“Our overall performance was up to the mark.”

Sources in the PCB have also confirmed that the board will meet with the team management and other parties involved to assess Pakistan’s performance at the World T20 and iron out some of the issues that have come up after the team suffered a big loss to India and then Sri Lanka in the semi-final.

“Pakistan cricket’s think-tank will sit down at the PCB headquarters here over the next two days in a bid to come out with a blueprint for success ahead of the national team’s groundbreaking tour of India,” the source said.

“There is a big question mark on the performance of several senior players including former captains Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik.”

“The PCB think-tank has to decide their fate. Many believe that Pakistan should infuse young blood in the national team but others argue that dropping senior players for a high-pressure series against India might backfire,” the source added.

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