The biggest opportunity for the players before Australia tour is in town as the National T20 Cup kicks off October 14 in Faisalabad.
National team’s head coach, Misbah-ul-Haq and company have set a simple policy, perform in domestic cricket and get your place in Pakistan’s team.
But do such policies really apply to Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)? Over the years the PCB has often favored only who they like or those who get agree with their decision quickly which didn’t work for them anyway.
If performance remained the main criteria for selection, players like Abid Ali, Khurram Manzoor, Fawad Alam, and many others would have been a regular part of the national team following their strength in respective formats.
Let’s come to what will happen when anyone performs in the National T20 Cup? Will they get ample opportunities equal to those for Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez who are once again under consideration after the team’s dismal performance in the home T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Will players like Khurram Manzoor, who score runs heavily in every domestic season, get a chance over the apple of an eye Fakhar Zaman, who retains his place in the side despite continuous failures?
Will any leg-spinner get a chance to overcome not only Shadab Khan but Misbah’s opinion that there is no powerful leggie in Pakistan? Will any seam-bowling allrounder, which is need of the hour, occupy the courageous attention of Misbah or Faheem Ashraf will keep on getting all perks with zero performances?
Such questions seek an answer from PCB’s current set-up which aims to provide ample opportunities to domestic performers.
But the current situation tells that the picture will remain the same as a squad with just a few changes is likely to go to Australia for the three-match T20I series in November. And for instance, if some newbies come in, they would be just a weapon for the team management to counter the expected criticism in case of their failure in the series.
Whatever happened with the team against Sri Lanka in the T20I series in Lahore was the prime example of how the cricketing affairs run in the cricket board despite the renewal of the team management.
The most powerful man in the team took the toughest and controversial decision of calling the two of the most disputed players of Pakistan, Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shahzad. Where in T20I cricket other teams are getting modern by bringing young blood, Pakistan team is going back to those players who have been tried and failed a lot of times.
Number one T20I ranked team dishonored at the hands of a B strength of the Sri Lankan team which opened up plenty of unfilled boxes.
Now all eyes are on Misbah and his decisions as he will be in action during the National T20 Cup to select the best possible players for the three-match T20Is series against Aussies at their backyard. Let’s see what will be the best 16-member squad for Misbah.