Malik, Lawson consulted while naming squad - Salahuddin
Salahuddin Ahmed, the chairman of Pakistan's selection committee, has said that Shoaib Malik, the captain, and coach Geoff Lawson were consulted before the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy in September was announced.
His comments dampen speculation that there were considerable differences between the two sides before the squad was announced. "The selectors have to take the input of both coach and captain before finalising the squad and we have done that before giving a final shape to the squad," Salahuddin told Dawn. "No doubt there were some differences over the selection of some players, but it is not new as there have been similar issues the world over."
Salahuddin, though, clarified that the selection committee had the final say on the matter. "According to the rules and regulations, the selectors are bound to take the input of both coach and captain but giving final shape to the line-up is our right," he said.
Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Salman were named in the squad despite not having featured in the practice games in Multan, but Salahuddin insisted that they were cleared for selection by the Pakistan board's medical committee, headed by Dr Mohammad Shah. "All the three were included when Shafqat Naghmi [the PCB's chief operating officer] confirmed to the selectors that Dr Shah had cleared them," he said.
"I would like to disclose that had Dr. Shah's report not cleared the [three] cricketers, they would not have been selected."
Reports from last week's selection have suggested that the split between the team management and the selectors was more than just a difference in opinions, especially as it is merely the latest in a continuing history of tumult between the two parties.
It is understood that there were upto four differences between the squad the team management selected and the one that was finally selected. And though it hasn't been confirmed - and is unlikely to be in future - reports suggest that the meeting in the National Cricket Academy in Lahore was an especially fractious and heated one.