PCB selecting only “blue-eyed players” in national squad, overlooking the rest: report

Friday, December 3, 2010

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is indulging in favouritism in the national team’s selection, by including its “blue-eyed players” in the squads and showing the door to the rest, a Pakistani newspaper has said.

“When Shoaib Malik was not performing, he was kept in the team because he was enjoying the backing of PCB chief at that time, but now he has been discarded even when he is scoring runs in the domestic cricket,” The Nation reported.

“Therefore one can ask about the reasons behind his non-selection in the team. There is a visible lack of consistency in the team performance ever since the incumbent Chairman took the driving seat of the PCB,” the paper said.

“The rule being applied in the team selection process is that the blue-eyed players get the nod of the selectors while the rest are shown the door,” the paper added.

According to the paper, during Pakistan’s tour of England, three players- Salman Butt, Muhammad Aamir and Muhammad Asif - were “spotted baselessly in a match-fixing scandal by a British tabloid, which is not the authentic paper to be trusted upon.”

“If someone is accused of any wrongdoing, then it is the responsibility of the accuser to prove its claim in the court of law. But in this case nothing has been proved so far despite lapse of around three months,” the paper said.

“This looks a politically motivated move against the top Pakistani players who can turn the whole situation of the match individually, especially the match-winning bowlers Aamir and Asif,” it added.

It noted that the wickets in New Zealand support seam bowlers like Aamir and Asif, as both are capable of destroying the batting order of the opposition. But both are not included in the squads announced for the New Zealand tour, as they are currently under suspension by the International Cricket Council over spot-fixing allegations.

The paper said that the ICC was “poking its nose into PCB’s team selection-related matters”, and that the PCB Chairman “Ijaz Butt is looking helpless in playing his due role.”

“The PCB must take a strong stance for at least these two players and use its influence and ensure that the ICC gives green signal to these players for continuing playing unless they are proven guilty in the spot-fixing scandal,” the paper stated, adding that the “PCB can muster the support of BCCI, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to help get these players cleared.” (ANI)

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