Abdul Razzaq deserves another chance

Abdul Razzaq has not been a part of the national side since the World Twenty20 in 2012 © Getty Images

By Fawad Hussain
 
Soon after Pakistan’s dismal performance at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, many senior cricketers were dropped and hence, they embarked on a mission to try and make a comeback to the national team. The likes of former captain Shoaib Malik and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, instantly turned to their respective departments at the Ramazan Twenty20 events to win back the selectors’ faith.
 
Although these players are capable of shining in the domestic circuit, I strongly feel they shouldn’t return to the national team until and unless they show outstanding performances with consistency.
 
Their comebacks in the past were based on a single season of good performance and have gravely cost the team. However, one man among the seniors seeking a place in the team has my sympathies — Abdul Razzaq.
 
The 33-year-old has not been a part of the national side since the World Twenty20 in 2012. He wasn’t utilised properly throughout the tournament and was controversially dropped for the semi-final, which the team lost.
 
In response, the senior all-rounder lashed out at his T20 captain Mohammad Hafeez for overlooking him. He stated to reporters, “Even Wasim Akram insisted that I should be picked for the match against Sri Lanka, but Hafeez decided against it,” Razzaq said, adding that Hafeez thinks of himself as being a better captain than Akram.
 
His protest ended up earning him a fine by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Subsequently, the seasoned all-rounder, who has represented the country in 46 Tests, 265 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 30 Twenty20 Internationals, silently sidelined himself from domestic cricket, setting an excuse for selectors to overlook him repeatedly, while players like Shahid Afridi kept returning without proving much. However, the good thing is that after the change in PCB’s hierarchy, Razzaq is back on the domestic field with the hope of getting justice.
 
He is hopeful of making a comeback and wants to represent Pakistan for a couple of more years. He played in a match at the Ramazan Twenty20 Cup — recently organised by the PCB — in which he scored an impressive 46 runs for the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, showing a glimpse of his expertise in stroke-making.
 
As Razzaq has vowed to continue striving for a comeback, I strongly feel that people at the helm of affairs must assess his form and fitness closely because an in-form Razzaq will be a huge plus for Pakistan, especially amidst this dearth of match-winners in the team.
 
(Fawad Hussain is a sports reporter for The Express Tribune. The above article is reproduced with permission from www. http://tribune.com.pk/)