Dispute delays Pakistan squad announcement for Bangladesh tour

Pakistan will play one-off Test, three ODIs and a Twenty20 match AFP

Karachi: Nov 17, 2011

The announcement of the Pakistan cricket squad for the forthcoming tour of Bangladesh has been delayed after differences erupted between the national selection committee and governing board members of the PCB.

Sources aware of the development told PTI that the selectors were not happy with the pressure being exerted by some governing board members to have players of their region picked in the squad for the Bangladesh tour.

The selection committee, which is headed by Mohammad Illyas, met in Lahore yesterday but did not announce the squad.

Illyas said the selectors had decided to hold back the announcement as they wanted to wait for two more matches of the ongoing one-day series against Sri Lanka in the UAE to be completed.

“Basically we don’t want players to be complacent if we announce the touring squad now. There is nothing wrong in waiting a bit and then announcing the squad,” Illyas said.

Pakistan is due to tour Bangladesh after a gap of nearly 10 years for a Test, three ODIs and a Twenty20 match.

The Pakistan squad will leave directly from Dubai for Dhaka after completing their series against Sri Lanka next week.

But a well-informed source confirmed that the delay had also occurred because some governing board members were insisting players of their regions, who had performed well recently, should be inducted into the side as the series against Bangladesh would not be a tough one.

“For example Shakil Sheikh who is a governing board member from Islamabad and Rawalpindi wants allrounder Umar Amin and dashing opener Ovais Zia included in the squad for the limited over matches in Bangladesh,” the source said.

He said similarly Aamir Nawab, who heads the Abbotabad region and represents it on the PCB, wants leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the team.

Ovais Zia and Umar performed well in the recent SAARC tournament in Maldives where Pakistan won the T20 tournament. They have also done well on the domestic front in recent times.

“Chief selector’s main objection is that the selectors should be allowed to work independently and select the best possible squad,” the source added.

Leg-spinner, Yasir Shah went with the senior team to Zimbabwe in September but did not impress in the matches he played.

“Illyas is a straight forward person and is not happy with this interference and is waiting to talk to the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Zaka Ashraf,” another source said.

He said the selectors were not in favour of making changes in the squad that is already playing against Sri Lanka.

“The feeling is that the Bangladesh series should be used as a springboard to give players confidence for next year’s series against England in the UAE,” the source said. (PTI)