PCB gave me no independence - Abdul Qadir
Having maintained a steady silence since he abruptly stepped down from his post as chief selector earlier this week, Abdul Qadir finally let loose on the reasons behind his decision, blaming primarily a lack of independence in his role. Qadir also said had it been his choice, Pakistan's Twenty20 side would not be led by Younis Khan and that Shoaib Malik would not be in the side at all.
In particular, Qadir launched an attack on Intikhab Alam, Pakistan's coach, and Yawar Saeed, the team's manager, blaming them for interfering in selections and rendering his selectors "a dummy" committee.
"Why did I resign? If you do not get the respect, the justice or independence in your job it is better to leave," Qadir told Cricinfo. "If the PCB does not honour its contract then what is the point? I was told I would be given independence and a free hand in selection but that has not been the case."
The spark for the differences seems to have emerged from the ambiguous parameters assigned to the chief selector. The board's policy, for home games, is that the selection committee decides on a playing XI, in consultation with coach and captain. According to Qadir, 'consultation' allowed, effectively, the team management to finalise the XI without any input from selectors.
"The contract says that if there is a dispute over the final XI for a home game, the selector decides in consultation with coach and captain," Qadir said. "Here, the coach and manager and captain were deciding the XI so the selectors were not doing anything. Even the players for the central contracts - we had no say in that. If guys like Yawar Saeed and Intikhab Alam are handling these things, interfering, then why have selectors?"
Several ideas of his, Qadir said, had not been considered. One was a suggestion on improving Pakistan's bench strength by organizing matches between four teams with all the best talent in Pakistan. Other ideas were more radical. Had he been given the independence he wanted, for example, Younis would not be the captain of Pakistan's Twenty20 side.
"When I first was appointed as selector I said then we should have two captains but they didn't listen to me. I would've asked Younis to step down from ODI and Twenty20 cricket and made Shahid Afridi captain in both formats. I would've kicked Shoaib Malik out of the side totally because I noticed in Dubai that he is conspiring and forming cliques against Younis."
Pakistan only recently made its selection committee a full-time, salaried one; Qadir was the second such head, after Salahuddin Ahmed, who stepped down last year. "I did not do this for the money. I kick the PCB's money. I did it to bring justice to Pakistan's real talent that goes unnoticed every day. The whole system has to change and men such as Yawar Saeed and Intikhab Alam have to be removed from it. Otherwise nothing will change. I have nothing against Ijaz Butt but the system must change."
The other two members of the committee, ex-Test cricketers Salim Jaffer and Shoaib Mohammad are still in place and no replacement has yet been sought for Qadir.
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo