Shahzad not offered PCB contract due to disciplinary issues

Ahmed Shahzad was a surprise exclusion in the central contract list issued by Pakistan Cricket Board AFP

Karachi: Aug 10, 2011

Talented young opener Ahmed Shahzad was not offered a central contract by the Pakistan cricket Board because of disciplinary issues and attitude problems, Intikhab Alam, former manager of the national team, said.

Alam, a former Test captain, said that despite being warned by the Chairman of the board, Ijaz Butt, Shahzad had issues of discipline and attitude problems which is why he was also out of the team.

“His performance was not an issue in not offering him a central contract. In the past also he was reported by managers for his attitude and discipline. Ijaz Butt had spoken to him himself and advised him not to waste his immense talent and improve his behavior but there was no change visible in him,” Intikhab told the “Jang” daily newspaper.

Shahzad, 22, was a surprise exclusion when the board offered central contracts to 23 players on Monday.

Having scored two centuries in one-day series against New Zealand and in the West Indies and having been a regular member of the squad even in the 2011 World Cup, Shahzad’s exclusion came as a surprise.

Media reports said he was dropped because he was blamed for causing misunderstandings between former captain Shahid Afridi and head coach Waqar Younis on recent tours.

“There is no doubt about his potential and if he improves his behavior he can make a comeback to the national team,” Intikhab said.

He pointed out that while offering central contracts the board had to take into consideration not just performance and physical fitness but also a player’s attitude and approach towards team discipline.

The former test captain, who was a member of the committee that finalized the list of players offered central contracts, said PCB and team management had even sessions of therapy for troubled players and Shahzad was among them.

“We do our best even at the national academy to improve the behavior of problematic players but if they still continue to make the same mistakes than it becomes difficult to make them of the national team set-up,” he added.

Shahzad has had a background of disciplinary issues and in 2008 was also reported by manager, Abdul Raquib for disruptive behavior during the ICC Youth World Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

A source said the team management had also recommended special counseling for Shahzad who it noted came from a ‘disturbed’ background.

Interestingly, Shahzad, who is playing for his department Habib Bank in the ongoing Corporate Cup T20 Ramazan event in Karachi off the cuff, denied he was a trouble maker in the team and insisted he gave and showed proper respect to his seniors and managers. (PTI)