Politics April 21, 2010

Who is Pakistan's chief selector?


We now wait for Big Mohammad Irfan to take off, another flight abandoned in the age of volcanic ash © Associated Press

Pakistan’s version of Big Bird, Mohammad Irfan, was all set for a last minute entry into the T20 World Cup. Big Irf’s story would have been a traditional and modern day triumph. Traditional in the sense that Pakistan cricket is known for launching unheard of fast bowlers onto the world stage. A modern triumph, too, as Big Irf was discovered by a fan who championed his cause via website Pakpassion.net and then continued his story on another website, Cricistan.

Pakistan’s newly installed captain, coach and chairman of selectors—let’s be clear, men with considerable international experience—decided that they wanted Big Irf to replace one of their injured pace bowlers, a surprise package indeed. Such instinctive decisions set Pakistan cricket apart from others. They lift the gloom of failure and inject hope and curiosity. This one had an added twist of incredible height. Whether Big Irf is just under seven feet tall or just over, bizarrely, nobody seems quite sure.

Mr Butt, chairman of the cricket board, galumphed into this glowing scenario and turned a fascinating decision on its head. The simple point here is that the selection process should be autonomous from the chairman of the cricket board. If he doesn’t like the decisions, he should sack the head of selectors and his panel. Mr Butt’s meddling has immediately undermined the authority of Pakistan’s new management team. A wise chairman would have supported his chosen leaders. Typically, Mr Butt decided on a show of strength, a slap down for Shahid Afridi, Waqar Younis, and Mohsin Khan.

Arguments against Big Irf’s selection have been spurious. There is scope for players outside the provisional squad to be selected. Visas can be acquired quickly, and the team may have avoided the UK because of volcanic ash in any case. The chief selector may have spoken without the approval of the rest of the selection panel, but his opinion backed by the captain and coach should have held sway. Mr Butt may have appointed Mohsin to head the selection panel but he has behaved as if he is the chief selector, Mohsin merely his vassal.

With the recent McCarthyite purge orchestrated by Mr Butt and the promise of a new start, Pakistan fans were sold the lie that higher standards were in operation. Sadly, Mr Butt has failed the first test of his new regime. It will ever be thus. Apparently, we get the leaders we deserve but not even Pakistan cricket deserves the unworthy gang that runs the Pakistan Cricket Board.

What of the fans? We now wait for Big Irf to take off, another flight abandoned in the age of volcanic ash.

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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on July 6, 2010, 4:47 GMT

    I definitely want to read a bit more soon. BTW, pretty good design that site has, but what do you think about changing it every few months?

    Lucy Globby

  • testli5504537 on May 10, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Truly great story as for me. I'd like to read a bit more about that topic. Thanks for posting this data.

  • testli5504537 on May 3, 2010, 17:27 GMT

    Dear Sir:

    Why Afridi did not allow Abdul Razaq for bowling -why he was playing... when afrid and sami was give hard time why afridi allowed himself and allowed sami for the second and third overs.. why this was not given to Abdul Razaq.. where was Waqar Younus I saw him he was sitting and scratchng his bear... why not a messsage sent to afrid or it should be pre planned or pre advised to his as to be honest afridi is good but he is stupid at the same time..as his brain does not work most of the time...

    please take a note of this defeat... which is due to afridi... he did not bat well he did not ball well... also why you people are keeping asif what you will do for him???

    salam ashfaq khan very much worried for the stupid action by afridi and waqar younus.

  • testli5504537 on April 28, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    Mohammad Irfan should be in the T20 2010 world cup probably after selecting their own favourites, there was no space left for the deserved person. Batting department is already weak and bowling department has not been strengthened. Inclusion of Irfi in the team would have made us all proud including the selectors.

  • testli5504537 on April 27, 2010, 17:36 GMT

    I and many other supporters of Pak cricket in South Africa have come to one definate conclusion that Pak cricket will not progress as long as an inapt Mr.Ijaz Butt is at its helm.What is the purpose of a selection committe if he decides to over-rule their decisions??Unfortunately whatever he touches turns to disater!!!He would be better advised to join a gym and lose some weight it may help his thinking and longevity

  • testli5504537 on April 26, 2010, 7:08 GMT

    India or Pakistan the Cricket Boards are same...The power and greed which is heady cocktail has always messed up the subcontinent cricket....Pakistani cricketers are most exciting to watch especially their fast bowlers....Tremendously gifted players...Hope the good survives and Pakistan Cricket becomes much stronger from here on....World cricket needs them...

  • testli5504537 on April 26, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    Mr Butt should be sacked first, if not Pakistani people shud cum to road to make him gone. What a joke he is doing with cricket nd the Fans of Pakistani Crickets around the globe.

  • testli5504537 on April 26, 2010, 5:01 GMT

    Who is Pakistan's Chief Selector? It is clear it President Zardari. Zardari selected Butt and protects Butt from all charges of incompetence and Butt has his go at everything. He makes all the final decisions and is answerable to no one. He is not answerable to millions of Pakistan Cricket Fans, spread across the globe. He is playing havoc with Pakistan Cricket and does not take responsibility for any omissions and commissions. He points fingers at others for the failure of PCB. Mr. Butt, we know Zardari protects you, may be Mr. Zardari receives some kickbacks from PCB. When was the last time PCB audited? Please Mr. Butt, spare us the torture of seeing the complete ineptness and incompetence of PCB. Please leave Pakistan Cricket. Don't you have any conscious, don't you have your own legacy to protect. I know you do not care about Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket, but please protect your reputation.

  • testli5504537 on April 25, 2010, 22:03 GMT

    What you expect from Butt who was appointed by Zardari (Mr.10%) who can't manage Pakistan. Remember your leader comes from you......

  • testli5504537 on April 25, 2010, 20:34 GMT

    haha.nice man.he deserve it.he should go and learn how to talk first.I think currently best person for PCB be is Asif Iqbal Because he is Honest and he know the meaning of Dignity.If he gets chance i am sure he will deliver.i don't want the used Arrows (old Crikcter who got chances in management of PCB).they are fake.We need a person who know wat is self respect.The persons like Butt don't know wat is repect and pride they are just puppets of (patron).Why the hell pakistani nation watches follows them.Do they (so called Chairmen and Patron) care abt criket?They just care abt themsleves nothing more.Pathetic decisions are coming again and again from barracks of PCB but patron is showing faithfulness to his personal relation instead of Pakitan's Benefits.Why don't patron through him out of office.They just know how to eat PCB money by creating Commities commities and traveling.Do they know management?

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