Discarded Fawad remains optimistic about national selection

Updated September 23, 2019

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“Of course it is disappointing when your name doesn’t come up despite performing well with the bat." — AFP/File
“Of course it is disappointing when your name doesn’t come up despite performing well with the bat." — AFP/File

KARACHI: Sindh batsman Fawad Alam on Sunday revealed that despite being overlooked for national selection for several years, he hasn’t felt dejected even once.

The left-handed batsman was speaking to the media here at the UBL Sports Complex on Sunday after scoring his 31st first-class century.

“Of course it is disappointing when your name doesn’t come up despite performing [well] with the bat. As a human being, one is bound to get frustrated if he feels under-appreciated. But, I don’t get disheartened because if that were the case my career would have ended three years ago,” said the 33-year-old Fawad.

When he was asked whether he’d prefer any one format over the other, he said he is available for selection in all the formats. “I think it’s the selection committee’s call to select the players they deem fit for a particular format,” said Fawad.

Talking about the highs and lows in cricket, he said: “Ups and downs are a part of life. In whatever short international career that I have had so far, I have faced more downs than ups. But, I try to keep my chin up and make the most of the opportunities that come my way to keep knocking on the door of the selectors.”

He also talked about how there are players who value the domestic cricket more over league cricket. “Obviously, whenever an opportunity comes in County cricket, players avail it. But at the same time there are players who prefer domestic cricket over league cricket because they know that they can make a strong case for selection by performing well in domestic cricket,” Fawad remarked.

He acknowledged the importance of domestic season and the three to four-month open window that precedes it and said that the players use it to improve their fitness in order to prepare themselves for the domestic season.

On batting with the tail, the 33-year-old said that it is both easy and difficult at the same time. “There is not much pressure on you. I was on 25 when Mir Hamza came out to bat today. I scored a century from thereon. I tried to score as many as possible. Also, credit to Hamza for sticking to the batting plan,” said Fawad.

Responding to a question regarding the upcoming Pakistan, Sri Lanka series, he said: “International cricket has already been restored in Pakistan. Apart from hosting international games, we have had PSL matches played here too. All that’s left now is to take this process forward.

“Sri Lanka coming to Pakistan is a good sign. It’s a long process. It took us almost 8-9 years to get here so I think we need to give at least two more years to the Pakistan Cricket Board to convince more teams to come and play here.”

When Fawad was asked to explain why he thought he was not getting the selectors’ nod for national duty, he said: “I don’t think that any player can explain why he is not being selected. The selection matters can only be explained by the selection committee. I try to do what’s expected of me. My job is to play and perform in the ground. I am doing that and will continue to do so. Rest is up to the Almighty. Though I do hope that I will be rewarded soon.”

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2019