Imran Farhat has scored 112 runs in his last six domestic innings © Getty Images

By Faisal Nadeem

After having read the famous quote, “A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he’s finished”, I realised how untrue this was in case of Mr Imran Farhat. No one could finish him ever since he got married and once again, our superhero is back!

Farhat has successfully made another comeback into the Pakistani cricket team. His return reminds one of Aamir Liaquat’s epic comeback to his home TV channel. Liaquat relishes his ‘doctorate’ degree, while Farhat is enjoying his marriage certificate!

Since his ‘heroics’ at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, that facilitated Pakistan’s early exit to enjoy a much-needed breather before important future tours, Farhat’s workload was realised by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and they decided to give him ‘due rest’ for the West Indies series.

Against all odds, the master of comebacks has been selected for the Zimbabwe tour. His run of scores in the last six domestic innings reads: 16, 7, 14, 5, 5, 65 runs.

Nasir Jamshed has been dropped from the Test squad, probably because he has no benevolent father-in-law in the PCB. Otherwise, there is no reason why a young and talented player like Jamshed should be dropped.

Then there is Faisal Iqbal and Wahab Riaz. Iqbal’s modest average of 26.76 in 26 Test matches apart, his last few domestic innings read 25, 22, 48, 4, 4, 42. And at age 31, he is not young anymore. How long will he get chances?

Two relatively younger batsmen, Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam, average 48.94 and 55.96 in domestic, respectively. If they are not played against Zimbabwe, then against whom will they get a chance? Similarly, Usman Salahuddin (averaging 30-plus), Haris Sohail (averaging 51-plus) have been overlooked for Test team selection for no apparent reason. If Imran Farhat can get 40 Test matches over a decade with a modest average of just 30, why can’t Fawad Alam after averaging 40-plus in only three Test matches?

In the bowling department, the selectors opted for Rahat Ali and Ehsan Adil, instead of consistent performers like Sadaf Hussain and Asad Ali. Asad couldn’t impress the selectors after his performance in the One-Day International (ODI) series in the West Indies, but his First-Class bowling statistics (averaging 22.87 for 355 wickets) are far better than the other two. He certainly deserved more opportunities.

There are some other notable omissions too. For instance, the young aspiring wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan has also been dropped post the West Indies tour, without even being tried. He averages about 44.32 in the First-Class and his snubbing is mind boggling. How can a cricketer prove himself without even being tried?

Similarly, Hammad Azam was dropped after only two chances, which is unfair to a young player like him. Pakistan desperately needs an all-rounder and if Azam is not good enough, then Abdul Razzaq could have been reselected. The World T20 is around the corner and Pakistan need at least one good all-rounder to compete against the international teams out there.

Finally, another old saying reads, “You have two choices in life: you can stay single and be miserable, or get married and wish you were dead”. However, contrary to this statement, I would advise Pakistan’s young aspiring cricketers to get married to the daughter of a PCB official and be certain that another comeback is always round the corner!

(Faisal Nadeem is an electrical engineer with a Master’s degree in Information Technology with interests in sports, art, literature, culture and religion. The above article is reproduced with permission from www.