Sarfraz Nawaz questions the exclusion of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal
ISLAMABAD: The originator of Reverse Swing, Sarfraz Nawaz has blasted the Pakistan Cricket Board and has demanded the answer for why Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal are being sidelined despite of being the genuine talents.
The former Pakistani fast bowler was talking to The Nation when he raised the point, “I, along with others, wanted to know why Umar and Ahmed are not part of the team and what crime they had done due to which they were excluded from the national squad.”
He took Mohammd Amir and others in his firing range and said, “On the hand, the tainted players and officials are part of the national team, which was thrashed by the hosts England at the Old Trafford. Had both these players included in the side, Pakistan could have easily improved performance against the high-flying English team.”
The legendary fast bowler does not believe that the win at Lord’s has anything to do with the efforts of head coach or support staff, “England team lost the first Test at the Lord’s just because of underestimating the tourists. Pakistan team’s first Test win had nothing to do with the head coach Mickey Arthur, instead it was purely earned by the Misbah and company over their past reputation.”
He also criticized Inzamam Ul Haq’s selection and called it a complete failure as he did not give any attention to the middle order in case of injury or other issues.
“Pakistan team middle order lack depth and there is absolutely no replacement of Younus Khan and Asad Shafiq. If they are not performing, who will fill the void? Inzamam completely ignored this area, while only two openers were selected,” he added, “Hafeez is well-known to everyone regarding his poor judgment of reading the outside deliveries, while Shan Masood, despite having numerous chances, still committing same childish mistakes. Sami Aslam needs time to cement a place in the squad and if he is replaced with Shan, he can make the difference.”
He seemed unimpressed with the way Younis Khan has batted so far on the tour, while he also believes that Azhar Ali is just hyped and his place in the team is questionable.
“It seems that the time of Younus has gone and he must give space to the youngsters. Azhar Ali is also a super flop and I don’t know why Azhar is given so much hype and is a must in the starting XI,” he went on to say, I still believe Pakistan team badly needs a left-hander batsman in the middle order, who may provide much-needed depth in batting and give stability to shaky middle and lower middle order.
“Pakistan batting is highly shaky when tail-enders start from Yasir Shah, Aamir, Rahat Ali, with only Wahab can bat a bit, while it was not like that only in the recent past, even Pakistani bowlers could score handy runs in the later part of the innings,” Sarfraz Nawaz pointed out towards long fragile tail of Pakistan batting.
He is disappointed with the way Mohammad Amir bowled in the second test and thinks that Pakistani pacers are just wasting the new ball.
“In the first Test’s first innings, he did bowl some sharp deliveries and troubled English batsmen, but after that, England team management worked on him and made him toothless. He was bowling wayward deliveries, which were too easy for English batsmen to leave. England bowlers were utilising their skills to the best of their abilities, while Pakistani bowlers were just wasting the new ball.”
Nawaz exhibited surprise over the number of coaching staff that is sent with the team, however, he is impressed with the way Saqlain Mushtaq has turned things in England favour.
He said, “Catches were dropped, fielding was so poor and batting was disastrous.What is the sense behind hiring so many people when simple results are not achieved? Why the board has an army of PCB officials including Inzamam, Mudasaar, two media managers and others. Why national exchequer is being wasted on joyrides. Mushtaq Ahmed was released by the PCB, but he was again with the national team. On one hand, Saqlain Mushtaq completely turned around the fortunes of English team while on the other hand, the PCB officials army had flopped badly.”
The 67-year old urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to get rid of four people, “Pakistan badly needs to get rid of four persons i.e. Shaharyar Khan, Najam Sethi, Subhan Ahmed and Shakil Shaikh, as they are mainly responsible for inflicting huge damages on Pakistan cricket.Unless these cricket illiterate persons are not shown the door, Pakistan cricket cannot flourish. I request Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to save Pakistan cricket from further downslide and bring in technocrats, who may steady the Pakistan cricket ship,” Sarfraz concluded.