Abdul Qadir resigned due to “lack of independence”, dispute over Akhtar’s selection

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD - Abdul Qadir resigned as Pakistan cricket team’s chief selector due to “lack of independence”, and “differences” with coach Intikhab Alam and manager Yawar Saeed regarding fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s selection.

Speaking exclusively with PakPassion.net, Qadir outlined the various contractual obligations that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) failed to honour after appointing him as chief selector in November 2008.

One of the clauses in his contract stated that he would be involved in selecting the eleven-member playing squad for the matches, but “after signing the contract, I was told that I wouldn’t have any say in picking the final XI. I was also ordered to consult the captain and the coach before finalising the squad for any series,” he said.

Although Qadir did consider stepping down from his post as soon as he saw the first signs of breach of contract by the PCB, he deemed it inappropriate to resign at that point of time.

“Former Test cricketers had finally been given significant roles in the board, therefore I did not want to be the first one to resign. It was in fact, Javed Miandad’s resignation some time later, which made my decision to resign a lot easier,” he said.

Qadir finally decided to relinquish his post in June 2009, as according to him, he was not left with any other option but resign.

He disclosed that the spur of his decision was the dispute over the selection of Pakistan maverick fast bowler, Shoaib Akhtar, and that throughout his entire tenure as chief selector, Qadir faced resolute opposition from the team coach and manager regarding Shoaib’s selection.

“Intikhab and Yawar were always against Shoaib’s inclusion even though they could never come up with a valid reason to support their argument,” he revealed.

Qadir also disclosed the real motive behind the PCB designing a challenging fitness test for Pakistan players before selecting the team for the ODI series against Australia in the UAE.

“The coach and the manager specifically designed such a tough fitness test so that Shoaib would fail it and thus, not get selected,” he stated.

However, the Rawalpindi Express passed the fitness test, and played the first two matches of the series, before getting dropped for the third ODI.

“As I was in Dubai at that time, I asked the coach about Shoaib’s exclusion. Intikhab failed to satisfy me with his vague excuses for the move, so I was able to push for Shoaib’s selection in the next two matches,” Qadir said.

The issue of Shoaib’s selection in Pakistan’s Twenty20 World Cup Squad also stirred up a debate amongst the decision-makers. “On the eve of the selection committee’s meeting for Pakistan’s World Cup squad selection, Intikhab Alam telephoned me and told me not to select Shoaib at any cost” Qadir recalled.

However, when the PCB hastily announced medium pacer Rao Iftikhar Anjum’s name as Akhtar’s replacement for another tournament, “the selection committee was not taken into confidence regarding Shoaib’s eviction and Iftikhar Anjum’s subsequent inclusion in the squad,” rued Qadir, adding, “We were not even notified of these changes!”

Following these events, Qadir decided against getting on with his role in the prevailing environment in the board.

“My decision to step down was based on principles. I could not allow myself to make further compromises, so I was left with no option but to resign”, he concluded. (ANI)

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