Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

Junaid Khan is touted among Pakistan's pacers for the future. He is likely to make a return to the national side for Pakistan's tour of India. – File photo by Reuters
Junaid Khan is touted among Pakistan's pacers for the future. He is likely to make a return to the national side for Pakistan's tour of India. – File photo by Reuters

Pakistan’s Chairman of the selection committee Iqbal Qasim has voiced concerns over the dearth of quick bowlers at the first-class level, which, in turn restricts the options for the national side.

In an interview with, Qasim admitted there is a lack of fast-bowling talent in a country renowned for its quick men.

“We seem to lack the inspirational fast bowlers of yesteryear – like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar – resulting in a failure to find fast-bowling talent, which should be a worry for everyone involved in Pakistan cricket,” Qasim said.

While some players have shown promise at the domestic level, Qasim insisted it is too early to judge their potential for international cricket.

Revisiting the talent-scouting tales of previous decades, the former left-arm spinner explained: “In the past, a local coach would spot a young fast bowler who he thought had the pace and talent to succeed, he would alert one of the domestic coaches and they would, in turn, invite the bowler to a training camp or practice session and if he lived up to the word, he’d make it to a first-class team and his talents would be showcased. Before you knew it, he would be wearing the Pakistan cap.”

Qasim said things were different now. “The local coaches are silent, there are no names being mentioned on the domestic circuit. There's no exciting news coming though from any regions about any fast bowler who they have on their books. It's a worrying trend.”

The chief selector blamed young players’ preference for shorter versions of the game for this dearth of genuine quicks. “Perhaps youngsters are not putting their efforts into becoming fast bowlers and instead going for the easier option of bowling medium pace and concentrating on line and length,” he said.

A few names that emerged on the international level, through one-off series or Under-19 and ‘A’ team performances have, according to Qasim, shown promise again.

Among these, are left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz, Under-19 World Cup star Anwar Ali and Mohammad Irfan, the tall pacer who played two one-day internationals against England in 2010 but failed to impress.

“Anwar Ali has improved a great deal and has done well with the bat and the ball. Wahab Riaz has shown some glimpses of his best form which is heartening and Mohammad Irfan KRL has bowled with consistency.”

Another young pacer, Junaid Khan, who played at all three levels but was dropped for the World T20 is also back in reckoning for national selection, especially for the upcoming tour of India.

“He has done enough to earn a call-up for the T20 and ODI sides,” Qasim admitted.

On the overall team selection for India, Qasim said the selectors will prefer to stick with experienced players, given the pressure from fans and the media.

Following the limited-overs series in India, Pakistan will travel to South Africa for a full tour, including three Tests, five ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals and the selection chief  believes these tours will show “how far the team has come and what areas they need to improve upon.”

“In India, conditions will be similar to Pakistan, but of course the conditions that our cricketers will encounter in South Africa will be totally different, for example the bouncy pitches and how to handle them is something that our cricketers and the coaching staff will look at.”

For the South Africa tour, Qasim hinted at the inclusion of a few uncapped players but opted not to name any probables.

One player likely to make a comeback in the Test team is Mohammad Yousuf, who is currently playing the national T20 tournament in a bid to impress the selectors. Qasim, however, refused to give any assurance to the world-record holding batsman.

“We’ll have to see what his fitness levels are like and how he performs in the T20 tournament. He has a chance to impress the selectors, if he proves that he can still score runs and do well in all departments then he has every chance to play for Pakistan again.”

Comments (23) Closed

Ara Dec 02, 2012 05:34am
Umar Akmal? Did I hear Umar Akmal? How many chances does he need after the tantrums in Australia?
wahab Dec 02, 2012 03:17pm
nothing to take away from yousuf he is a very sound middle order batsman but he's been away from intl cricket for some while and its time to move on to introduce some new talent these foreign tours are very beneficial for youngsters who can proof their talent pcb should not worry about the result of these tours at least they will be able to build a team for the future pak's middle order needs to be revamped and the fast bowling dept needs to be looked at.
Asif Dec 03, 2012 08:38pm
For god sake move on from these failures and give chances to the young talent. People like you must be running PCB as well who are keep selecting failure over and over in the name of special series where they do not want to experiment much. We have abundance of talent but people like you destroying them over and over......................Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar, Younis as middle order batsman..........what the hell are you thinking or you are not even capable of doing such thing...............huh
ch.subba rao Dec 04, 2012 04:01pm
in asia pakistan producing fast bowlers regularly.but present pakistan pace attack no way near to highest level.pakistan too much depending on umer gul who lacks penetration.
IFTIKHAR KHAN Dec 02, 2012 08:33am
People ,how can you compare Mohammad Yousuf with unreliable kid like Umer Akmal who does not know how to bat in Test Cricket.This is how we treat our National Hero ,just to let you people know Mohammad Yousuf is technically very sound and reliable bats man if use properly. Selectors will not do justice to him by not selecting him for test team.
The_Progressive_Conservative Dec 02, 2012 10:35am
It is a generally accepted fact that Pakistan's poverty levels have been slowly decreasing over the past few decades. So your point fails to explain why we had talent before but very little now.
Ishaq Dec 02, 2012 11:46am
How can they find good fast bowlers, when they give just few chances to the likes of MohammadTalha, Tanvir Ahmed, Anwar Ali, Rahat Ali, Saddaf Hussain.... Aizaz Cheema is more or less a medium paced bowler, and Umar Gul has not remained consistent.
Samira Dec 02, 2012 10:31pm
What planet are you on? Things have never been worse in Pakistan, including poverty. Dont lean on statistics - look beyond your laptop. Another one living in fools paradise
AK Dec 01, 2012 07:45pm
In a country wher 47% live on one meal a day now no wonder it is hard to find athletes that excel in a talent that requires strongly developed body and a high calorie diet. North Korea is not producing world class athletes, South is. Fix the economy and talent will follow, not just in cricket but squash, hockey, boxing, soccer, etc.
Hassan Dec 02, 2012 02:35pm
I agree with your comment but you lost me when you said Umar Akmal who to me is a T20 player at best.
Zahidsaltin Dec 02, 2012 06:58pm
To South Africa I would take Umar Gul, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irafan, Aizaz Cheema and Zia-ul-Haq as fast bowlers, Said Ajmal, Zulfiqar Baber and Rehman as spinners, Hafiz, Imran Farhat, Taufiq Umar as opners, Misbah, Younis, Umar Akmal, Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq as middle line. As Keepers I'll take Adnan and Akmal. I'll play Haris Sohail in playing 11 in India as well as SA. My second choice spinner will be Zulfiqar.
Syed Ali Haider Dec 02, 2012 10:20am
Muhammad Yusuf should be given another chance, our test batting line up needs to be abit storng because proteas tour is not going to be easy for the young paki guns. Therefore, he should ONLY be included in the test squad, as there needs to be someone more experienced in the side who has the know how of the south african pitches. Good luck Yusuf bhai!
vishmed Dec 02, 2012 05:21pm
Not sure about poverty decreasing but read a report that average height in Pakistan is decreasing.
Afridi Dec 01, 2012 05:02pm
That is pathetic news about thinking of bringing Mohd Yousuf back. Mohd Yousuf is yesterdays news. He should not be coming back. Who is he going to replace? Azhar Ali or Younus Khan or Misbah Or Asad Shafiq. This is the middle order. Where is Yousuf going to fit.? He will be taking away the chances of people like Umar Akmal or Haris Sohail etc.
Mani Dec 02, 2012 02:19pm
The Akmals are a source of negative energy. They are the reason for Pakistan's poor showings in recent times. Its not about performance , although that hasn't been there either, it's their corrupt presence that is holding back Pakistan from success. Rid them to progress. Anwar Ali should also be given more opportunities.
s.m.mustafa Dec 01, 2012 05:15pm
Zahidsaltin Dec 02, 2012 06:49pm
Ever enthusastic fans should not just be so sure about Mohammad Youssef. It is not his yesterdays which count, it is the form and condition of the day. Look at Ponting and tandulkar and try to calculate, how a great player can become a liability when age effects his reflexes. Also otherwise, great Youssef has rarely performed in SA or AUS. Iqbal Kasim should avoid selection all time failrues like Sami and Faisal Iqbal and should include the shining talent of Haris Sohail. Mohammad Irfan could be a positive inclusion on bouncy pitches if he is taught to bowl at the good areas and avoid short balls. You need batsmen who can score big fifties and hundreds not the 30's and 40's which Umar and Asad are used to do.
Tahir Dec 02, 2012 05:28pm
Watching the Champions League matches in South Africa I saw a young Pakistani fast bowler, Bilawal Bhatti (or some such name), playing for Sialkot. He was regularly bowling in the 140+ range. Don't know anything else about him.
Alley Dec 07, 2012 01:52am
One thing is for sure that aizaz cheema has no place in pak squad. every fast bowler is better than him. There are a lot of new comers e.g tanvir ahmed, mohammad talha, junaid khan, anwar ali, mohammad irfan, and wahab riaz. All of them are better than that guy aizaz cheema. I cant understand how he remained persistant in the team last year and early this year. He may have some secret links in the PCB.
Alley Dec 07, 2012 01:54am
agreed . yousaf is history now. it should be some youngster playing instead of yousaf.
Alley Dec 07, 2012 02:02am
Hahaha . you made my day. so this is the sole reason of not producing athletes and those who are waiting for their chance to show up because they do not have perchee in their pocket , what are ur thoughts.
Alley Dec 07, 2012 02:03am
its world wide problem not just in pakistan .
Noman Dec 07, 2012 05:54am
For test match team, which is where the real competition will happen, Younis Khan is absolutely essential. He is still ranked among the top 5-6 test batsmen in the world.