Bizarre row over selection breaks out May 9, 2007

Selector files complaint against Farhat

Cricinfo staff



Imran Farhat: Not a happy bunny © AFP

Salahuddin Ahmed, the chief selector of the PCB, has filed an official complaint against Imran Farhat, after the opener dissented at being left out of the Pakistan squad for the Abu Dhabi series against Sri Lanka. The development comes on the heels of a public rift between the selector and Mohammad Ilyas, the former Test opener and father-in-law of Farhat.

Salahuddin told The News that the national selection committee has sent a complaint to the board recommending disciplinary action against Farhat after he called up the selector and asked why he was left out of the squad.

"We have filed a complaint against Imran Farhat for trying to interfere with selection matters," said Salahuddin, a former Test cricketer. "It was a violation of the code of conduct. No player is allowed to talk to the chief selector or other members of the selection committee and raise objection over the selection process."

According to Salahuddin Farhat asked, "Why wasn't I selected in the team? What was my fault? I have no contract and if I can't be in the team what would become of my future? You will have to give me a reason why I was not considered?"

Farhat was quoted by a local agency denying any misbehaviour. "I just met the selectors and asked the reasons behind my exclusion but, they snubbed me and told me that selection committee is not answerable to any player." Dawn also reported, quoting sources, that Farhat later apologised to the selectors and assured them of their full cooperation in the future.

Farhat has not been a part of Pakistan's ODI plans in recent months, missing the ODI series against South Africa and the World Cup. The selectors opted instead for Salman Butt and Imran Nazir as openers in the 16-man squad for the series against Sri Lanka.

Farhat's protest came just a day after his father-in-law Ilyas exchanged heated words with Salahuddin and selection committee member Shafqat Rana soon after the Pakistan team was named in Lahore. Ilyas reportedly lost his cool when he discovered that Farhat had not been picked, ending the altercation with the words, "the war is now on." Ilyas told Dawn, "It is not a threat but a fact that the selectors did not make the selection fairly and it will ruin the career of many youngsters. If they consider it a threat, let them."

An official notification about his behaviour has also been sent to the board. Farhat faces a fine for alleged violation of the PCB code of conduct.