Selection controversy

Pakistan's chief selector resigns over player switch

Cricinfo staff

October 8, 2008

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Salahuddin Ahmed says offspinner Saeed Ajmal was picked in the team by the selectors, but instead the PCB named opener Shoaib Khan in the 15-man squad © AFP
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Pakistan's chief selector, Salahuddin Ahmed, has resigned, claiming a change was made to the original 15-man squad for the four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Canada without the selectors' consent.

Salahuddin said they had chosen offspinner Saeed Ajmal in the squad, but instead uncapped opening batsman Shoaib Khan was included in the list announced by the PCB on Tuesday. Salahuddin said he and his fellow selectors Shafqat Rana and Saleem Jaffar hadn't been informed of the board's decision.

"I left for Karachi immediately after finalising the team but when the Pakistan Cricket Board announced the team in Lahore, Shoaib Khan was named in the squad," Salahuddin told the Associated Press. "Nobody in the cricket board had the courtesy to ask me or the other two selectors before replacing a player and I felt insulted.

"I have faxed my resignation to the PCB office in Lahore as I do not compromise on merit." Salahuddin also questioned the logic of the move; Shoaib Khan is the fourth opener in the team alongside Salman Butt, Khalid Latif and wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal. "We had already selected three openers in the 15-member squad for the Toronto event and it makes little sense to include a fourth one," Salahuddin said. "It's not the right decision."

Salahuddin, 61, had served 13 times on Pakistan's selection committee between 1979 and 1999 before his latest appointment, which came after the team's first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. On Tuesday, the PCB named Ijaz Butt, the former Test opener, as the board's new chairman, taking over from the position left vacant after Nasim Ashraf's resignation in August.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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