'You need full-time paid professionals' September 2, 2005

Miandad seeks greater role for selectors

Cricinfo staff

Javed Miandad lauds PCB © Getty Images
Javed Miandad has lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) intention to appoint paid selectors. The board decided, after a meeting of its ad-hoc committee last month, to treat selectors as full-time paid employees instead of appointing them, as is done currently, on an honorary basis.

The former Pakistan captain told The News he backed the move. "It is a good concept. Nowadays cricket is an industry and you need full-time paid professionals to do certain jobs. The days of having honorary selectors are over."

Meanwhile, the selection committee, headed by chief selector Wasim Bari, met in Lahore to announce squads for the series against Australia `A' and practice games for the England tour. Bari, along with other selectors like Iqbal Qasim and Ehteshamuddin, are paid employees of different organizations. This has led to concerns at the PCB that due to their professional constraints, they are unable to spend as much time scouring talent on the domestic circuit as they should.

The grapevine has it that the composition of the committee might undergo change, but the PCB insist that, if possible, they would like to retain the current selectors and make them full-time employees of the board. However, Miandad also stressed it is equally important to invest selectors with more authority over choice of the final XI. Traditionally, the selectors pick a squad but the composition of the playing XI remains the prerogative of the team captain and coach.

Miandad, himself a three-time coach of Pakistan, argued, "We need to follow the example of other countries doing well at present. We need to give the selectors the authority to select the playing teams -- obviously with the feedback of the captain and the coach. But the final decision should be made by the selectors." By letting selectors pick the final XI, Miandad contended that the coach and captain are left free to concentrate on getting the best out of each player on the field.

In recent months, there have been murmurs both within the board and outside it that the coach and captain have too much authority over the playing XI and that a stronger selection committee was needed. Former players and journalists have criticized the selection committee's role as superfluous, a charge that wasn't helped by reports at the end of Pakistan's tour to India that some senior PCB officials were unhappy at a perceived lack of gumption within the committee.