LAHORE: Pakistan chief selector Iqbal Qasim said on Monday that wicket-keeper Adnan Akmal must not lose heart over his omission from the Test squad for South Africa tour, adding he is talented enough to make a comeback very soon.
Iqbal said that since a 16-member squad had to be named for the tour, there was no place for a back-up wicket-keeper to Sarfraz Ahmed but advised Adnan to remain positive about his future.
“Adnan is a very good wicket-keeper and we have selected him in the past, but he missed some of the ties of the President’s Trophy as he was getting married,” Iqbal told Dawn.
“At the same time, Sarfraz was performing well in the same tournament. Therefore, he has been given a chance.
“However, it isn’t the end of the world for Adnan as he might get the nod for the next tour in case of injury while he may also be sent as a replacement.”
Iqbal also clarified that the team had been selected purely on merit despite media reports suggesting that a conflict-like situation has been brewing between the team management and the selection committee.
“The team has been selected purely on merit and with the consultation of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and coach Dav Whatmore,” Iqbal said. “The news about any differences between the selection committee and the team management is pure speculation.”
Iqbal also gave the reason for missing out on the press conference in which the team was announced last Friday as his absence had only added fuel to the burning speculation.
“I had to go to Karachi as my daughter had come for a few days from the US after almost three years,” he clarified. “Due to that, I also missed the PCB Annual Awards Ceremony on Saturday.”
Iqbal, who was one of the members of a three-man panel which selected the best player award, said there was no truth to rumours suggesting Misbah wanted an extra fast bowler for the tour. “We had to name just 16 players,” he said. “Furthermore, in case of an injury, the team management can ask for a player so that is a non-issue.”
Iqbal admitted that the selection committee held long discussions over the selection of Taufiq Umar, who has not been performing to the best of his abilities in domestic cricket.
“We selected him on Misbah’s recommendation and that is an indication that we announced the team after taking views from everyone involved and I hope that we perform well in South Africa,” he concluded.—Sports Reporter