‘I have seen better players than Fawad Alam’ – Inzamam

'I have seen better players than Fawad Alam' - Inzamam

Chief selector of Pakistan cricket team Inzamam-ul-Haq has responded to the criticism that has followed Fawad Alam’s exclusion for England, Ireland tour, he said, “Fawad Alam is an outstanding player but in the last three years there are others at the top of the list,” Inzamam said.

Talking about Alam’s selection, who has been overlooked yet again, the former skipper compared Saad Ali better than Fawad.

“We got him here in the nets but we found Saad Ali to be better, and the decision to prefer Saad was unanimous, with input from all the coaching staff and captain. Fawad is a good player and we obviously can’t ignore his career average; that is why he was brought into the camp. During my tenure, I have given 12 to 14 players an opportunity and none of them have disappointed us. If you look back in the past three seasons, there are players who have scored more runs than Fawad Alam.”

“Dropping any player doesn’t mean we are disregarding them. It’s easy to pick players following scorecards or statistics, but there are many more things we take into consideration. I am not sure why Fawad wasn’t picked in the past before me but if you ask me about my tenure as chief selector, I have seen better players,” he added.

Alam was last picked in 2015 that played three Test matches against England. Despite Fawad’s consistently high batting average in the domestic circuit and second highest points in the fitness test among the 25 probable in the fitness camp, he once again ignored by the selectors.

Defending his decision of not selecting Fawad Alam in the squad, the chief-selector said, “I am not taking away anything from Fawad, as he has scored a lot of runs in domestic cricket at a great average. When there is a competition, some players get left out, but that doesn’t mean their career ends there,” Inzamam said.

“We haven’t ignored him, we have actually given an opportunity to a few others we thought were more suited to English conditions. Last season, we had tough bowling conditions in the QeA, and Saad Ali was a stand-out performer, and that is why he was preferred. I have spoken to Fawad on many occasions and given him the confidence to keep on working hard.

“I know people are very critical about his non-selection but we need to see things in perspective. People have expectations and they want to see their team win every game which brings a lot of responsibility on us. I have nothing against any player. We have a responsibility and what is important is we do not fail it. We must select players on merit. I am lucky that most of my picks so far are paying off well, and we now have a bigger pool of players.”

The inclusion of Inzamam’s nephew in the squad who had a slightly worse average than Alam in the 2016-17 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he said it wasn’t an individual’s decision.

“Picking Imam is a tough decision but this is one decision I didn’t take,” Inzamam said. “People might be cynical about this but the head coach Mickey Arthur, batting coach Grant Flower and other selectors made the decision to select Imam. I am the part of the discussion group, but I didn’t say anything about it. The report given by trainers and coaches about him showed a significant improvement in his skill and fitness levels. He was already in the system even before my becoming selector, so associating me shouldn’t be a point of discussion.”