Are there likely to be further changes in Pakistan cricket? This is a question for which no one has an answer at this time. Another possible strange development is that Shahnawaz Dhani may be the next player to benefit from the never-ending reshuffle of the World Cup T20 team. Wasim has been assigned a job that is above his ability, as evidenced by his mishandling of selection problems even before Chairman Ramiz Raja took over as head of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Wasim has essentially become a dummy chief selector since Raja took over the PCB.
Mohammad Wasim’s one-man cosmetic selection committee surprised many in recent years, since his role has been reduced to that of a spokesperson. His current position in selection considerations is just as significant as his contribution to the national team during his cricketing career, in which he failed to score 1,000 runs in 18 Tests.
Any reputable Test cricketer would have resigned as soon as his chosen squad was entirely remodelled. Wasim appears to be adamant about not resigning until he is forced to. The rationale is obvious, as he is paid about Rs1.5 million per month for merely fulfilling the responsibilities of a spokesman.
The team’s selection matters have never been handled professionally in recent times. There has been no relationship between the national team’s selection and performance in domestic events. Premature selections of teams, probable and even the camp trainees have triggered controversies and uncertainties in the recent past.
Only days before the T20 World Cup, we are still not sure as to what would be the final shape of the team. Rated as an aggressive middle-order trio, Khushdil Shah, Azam Khan and Sohaib Maqsood have already been sidelined.
An important question comes to mind here: Why did those, who had the real say in selection matters, make premature decisions about the T20 World Cup squad weeks ahead of the deadline?
One inning from Shoaib Malik was enough for him to secure his place in the squad. How did an out-of-favour player walk straight into the team? Was the lone inning he played well enough for the selection or does he have any other skill too? None, however, can deny that Shoaib is a seasoned cricketer who has the right knowledge of modern-day cricket.
The PCB chairman was right when he accepted in front of the Senate Standing Committee that Pakistan cricket was suffering from major flaws.
The PCB has never groomed those brains who could help propel genuine talent into the national squad. The country may have 50 top-class players but none have become a real asset.
Barring Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan. who have worked tirelessly to enjoy the success they currently have, no batsman has shown any improvement in recent times.
Pakistan batting depends entirely on the Babar Azam-Rizwan duo, which has managed to bring out the best in the two batsmen. Our coaches have had no role in their grooming. Tt was Babar and Rizwan’s responsible attitude that helped them take giant strides in international level.
There have been serious question marks on Pakistan coaches’ ability to help a player mature at the international level. There is a dire need to make a new system for coaches’ evaluation.
For this purpose, Ramiz Raja will have to introduce an innovative concept that should be governed more by the natural ability of the coaches rather than their domestic services.
One cannot be a jack of all trades. Our coaches can easily switch over to the role of selection and then administration in the blink of an eye but unfortunately, all they require are financial benefits. Chief Selector Mohammad Wasim is the prime example in this regard.