Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features > Interviews >

Exclusion of Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal justified: Mushtaq Mohammad

Exclusion of Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal justified: Mushtaq Mohammad

Mushtaq Mohammad. Photo Courtesy: PakPassion.

By Amir Husain

After a protracted deliberation process, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee announced its list of 15 players for the upcoming Champions Trophy in England. The selectors opted for a mixture of youth and experience, led by 39-year-old Misbah-ul-Haq. But much to the surprise of many, Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal were excluded from the final squad, triggering a debates amongst fans and experts. The decision to axe the once talismanic figure of Shahid Afridi was the big point of contention, with discussions continuing late into the night between PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf and Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

Speaking exclusively with PakPassion.net, former Pakistan captain Mushtaq Mohammed discussed the specifics behind the decision to ignore Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal as well the strengths of the squad chosen.

“Shahid Afridi and Umar Akmal are excellent players and have expressed their ability on the international stage many times in the past, but in my opinion their exclusion from the Champions Trophy is completely justified. They have been given enough chances, but failed to make those chances count. Besides, there is significant competition for places in the Pakistan team,” Mushtaq opined.

Afridi has struggled to make an impact in one-day cricket over the last 12 months, having taken 15 wickets from 16 ODIs at an average of 43 in 2012, and no wickets from the five matches in which he has participated in the current calendar year, leaking 210 runs in the process. This is in comparison to a fruitful 2011 in which he picked up 45 wickets at 21.

Mushtaq feels Afridi’s lack of ability to strike with the ball is a consequence of his age: “Afridi is getting old and there comes a time when you have to bring in younger players. Age catches up with everybody, which may well be the case with Afridi.”

Mushtaq emphasised the importance of Saeed Ajmal, the experienced off-spinner, to the side: “The Pakistani bowling attack is strong, but primarily founded on the skill of Saeed Ajmal. He is ranked No 1 in the world in ODIs and for good reason. He offers a significant degree of control as well as being a prime wicket-taking option.”

Mushtaq was coach of the side that reached the final of the 1999 World Cup and is therefore no stranger to managing a side in a big tournament. He feels the final squad chosen for this summer’s Champions Trophy was not the right one. “The average age of the Pakistan team is 29. This is an ageing team. The likes of Misbah and some other older players should be making way for younger players. The only exception is Shoaib Malik as he brings a lot of good skills to the team. I feel that the PCB should know that the ICC Champions Trophy is not an important tournament. They should have sent a team full of young players, with a youthful feel, but instead they are sending a team full of ageing cricketers. It really makes no sense to me,” said Mushtaq.

Pakistan’s first game of the Champions Trophy will be on Friday 7 June against the West Indies at The Oval.

(Amir Husain is Senior Editor at PakPassion.net)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Rajasthan Royals won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 18, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Kings XI Punjab won by 6 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 17, 2014  at Sharjah

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 8 wkts

Photos

RCB vs MI, IPL 2014 Match 5 at Dubai

Videos

Video Highlights: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders wickets

Indian cricketers and copycat marketing

Doug Insole: More than just an administrator

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: His words found their way even into the cricket world

Brendon Kuruppu scores the slowest double-hundred of all time

IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals’ team composition vital for success

BCCI Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils England India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders MS Dhoni Mumbai Indians Rohit Sharma Royal Challengers Bangalore Virat Kohli

Five key areas England need to address to get back to winning ways

Marcus Trescothick willing to help Jonathan Trott

Shashank Manohar to attend BCCI Working Committee meeting on April 20

JP Duminy scripts sensational 4-wicket win for Delhi Daredevils over Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014

Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab IPL 2014, Match 7 Preview: Teams aiming to maintain winning start

Indian cricketers and copycat marketing

Doug Insole: More than just an administrator

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: His words found their way even into the cricket world

Brendon Kuruppu scores the slowest double-hundred of all time

IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals’ team composition vital for success

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

1 Posts | 0 Fans

Glenn Maxwell's 95, Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings IPL 2014 Video Highlights

Khloe Kardashian casually dating French Montana?

11 possible causes of coughing up blood

LinkedIn’s user base crosses 300 million mark

Chetan Bhagat: 2 States is quite close to me because the inspiration came from my own life!

Know what it takes to save your skin during flights

Breeze, a fitness app that encourages users to walk

Also on cricketcountry.com