Akmal, Shehzad
PCB responds to Senator Mushahidullah's allegations on Akmal, Shehzad

The Pakistan cricket board (PCB) has issued a clarification statement in response to a comment made by Senator Mushahidullah Khan regarding Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal’s inclusion in the team.

On Wednesday, PML-N Senator Mushahidullah alleged that the head coach Misbah-ul-Haq was forced to select the duo Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal due to ‘Sifarish’ from higher authorities.

In response to the criticism, PCB released an official statement, “The PCB is saddened with the learned Senator’s comments and wishes to put the facts right.

“Firstly, Misbah-ul-Haq, along with the selection committee, is completely empowered to select the best available players to represent Pakistan, taking into account the player performances, form, fitness and using his own judgement, assessment and insight – a right he has earned through his illustrious career,” the letter read.

The board further wrote, “Secondly, the PCB encourages and ensures the independence of its selectors enabling them to work without any fear or favour. This key practice was maintained in the selection of the Pakistan cricket team for the series against Sri Lanka, and neither Misbah-ul-Haq was influenced by the PCB nor by the upper circles.

PCB also mentioned that the duo was selected on the basis of their previous performances in PSL.

“Thirdly, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal had earned selections through their performances in the HBL Pakistan Super League 2019, which was the last T20 event held prior to the T20I series against Sri Lanka.

“In the HBL PSL 2019, Ahmed had scored 311 runs in eight matches at an average of 51.83 with a strike-rate of 126.93. He had hit 30 fours and eight sixes. As far as Umar Akmal is concerned, he had scored 277 runs in 12 matches at an average of 34.62 with a strike-rate of 137.12. He had hit 18 fours and 16 sixes. Both the players were members of the Quetta Gladiators side, which won the tournament in front of a packed National Stadium and millions of television viewers.”

“Lastly, the letter dated 8 October 2019 addressed to the PCB chairman, had ‘requested that senior representatives may attend the aforesaid meeting along with all concerned’.
“The PCB chairman and chief executive had been travelling for ICC meetings, Director – Domestic Cricket, and, as such, Haroon Rashid, and Senior Legal Counsel, Barrister Salman Naseer, were nominated to represent the PCB as the nominated individuals are knowledgeable and relevant to the agenda item communicated for the meeting i.e. briefing by PCB regarding the new Domestic Cricket Structure.

“This was communicated through PCB’s letter dated October 14, 2019,” the PCB press release concluded.

It is pertinent to mention here that both the batsmen failed to create an impact in their comeback games for Pakistan in T20I against Sri Lanka.