Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik step up their campaign to earn national recall

Shoaib Malik said he just informed the board and the selectors about his form and fitness © Getty Images

Karachi: Sep 20, 2013

Senior cricketers Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malik have stepped up their campaign to earn a recall to the national team after Pakistan’s dismal show in their recent tour to Zimbabwe.

Pakistan lost second Test against a lowly-ranked Zimbabwe to level the two-match series 1-1. They had also lost a game in the three-match ODI series earlier on the tour.

With the axe likely to fall on a number of players, who were a part of the team during the Zimbabwe tour, both Razzaq and Malik have met with the caretaker chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Najam Sethi in Lahore and pleaded their cases.

While Razzaq, after his meeting, told reporters that he had been assured of being given a fair chance and be considered for selection for the upcoming South Africa series, Malik said he just informed the board and the selectors about his form and fitness.

“I am not the sort of player who will sit on television channels and plead my case for selection. I believe in performing and letting the selectors do their task,” former Pakistan captain Malik said.

Razzaq said he was keen to play for Pakistan again.

“I have been involved in cricket and have been training regularly. I still have a lot to give to Pakistan cricket. The selectors have assured me of a fair chance and said ‘I should go and concentrate on my game’,” he said.

Sources in the PCB said Razzaq had told Sethi that he had not been treated fairly by the selectors, who had ignored him for national selection since last September.

“Razzaq also blamed Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq for him not getting a fair chance from the selectors,” the source said.

Razzaq had publicly blamed the two for his ouster from the team and for being continuously ignored after he last played in a World T20 Cup match against Australia in Sri Lanka in September 2012.

The experienced allrounder was fined by the board and was cautioned last year after he told the media upon returning from Sri Lanka that Hafeez should be questioned about his captaincy decisions.

Razzaq had also refused to play for the Lahore Lions team in the last national super eight T20 tournament in Lahore because Hafeez was captaining the side.