Why were ‘sifarshi’ Akmal, Shehzad preferred over Hafeez, Malik


Pakistan’s disappointing performance in the recent T20I series was discussed in the Senate on Wednesday, with Senators questioning the inclusion of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal in place of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.

The members of Senate’s Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial Coordination rejected the briefing given by Director Domestic Cricket Operations Haroon Rashid, and were livid at Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani and Chief Executive Wasim Khan’s failure to attend the session.

PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan, as per Daily Jang, alleged that Akmal and Shehzad were selected in the squad on someone’s sifarish (unjustified recommendation).

It is pertinent to mention here that the duo were given two chances each in the series but both failed horribly on each occasion. Akmal in particular was out on golden duck twice.

READ: One failure doesn’t warrant panic: Misbah defends Akmal, Shehzad

Senator Mushahidullah claimed that new head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq was under pressure to play the pair.

Senator Faisal Javed, meanwhile, asked why veterans Hafeez and Malik were dropped despite their “brilliant performances in T20 matches for the past one year”.

Rashid replied that “Shoaib Malik’s performance in T20 has been poor.”

To this, Senator Mushahidullah shot back: “In West Indies this Shoaib Malik has won 10 matches [on his own].”

Rashid refused to discuss the team’s performance, saying that that is Misbah’s responsibility.

The senators questioned Misbah’s selection policy in modern cricket, and also demanded to be told how many cricketers have had their livelihood affected by the new domestic cricket system.

“The cricket team should also do an Azadi March,” a senator quipped