LAHORE: Tainted fast bowler Mohammad Asif on Friday said the national selection committee has sent a a team of T20 players to Ireland and England to play Test matches and have shown double standards by ignoring the top performers at the domestic level in picking the squad.
Talking to reporters at a local cricket ground here, Asif said the national team, which will be playing a one-off Test against Ireland as well as two Tests against England during May-June, was not reflecting the real strength of a Test team and looked more like a bunch of T20 players.
“Several members of the touring side have no experience of Test cricket and yet they have been selected for the all-important tour of UK and Ireland, for reasons best known to the selectors,” said Asif.
It ma be mentioned here that Asif, along with other tainted cricketer Salman Butt, is representing Wapda in domestic cricket and both have played vital roles in their team’s featuring in the back-to-back finals of the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy.
The lanky pacer added that the selectors must keep the leading performers in sight while selecting the national team and fitness level should also be a main criteria in considering any player. “But, unfortunately, these criteria were not considered in selection of some players this time,” he lamented.
Asif further said that captain Sarfraz Ahmad had to lead from the front in all the tough situations but sadly his performance with both bat and gloves was not too impressive in recent months. “How can he [Sarfraz] then motivate other players if his own performance is below par,” he argued.
Both Asif and Salman, despite having served their respective bans from the ICC for their involvement in a nasty spot-fixing scam in England in 2010 and playing active domestic cricket for the past three years, have constantly been snubbed by the national selectors.
However, Mohammad Amir, the third tainted cricketer who was also banned for five years, has successfully staged a comeback into the team since 2016.
Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2018