Pakistan news July 2, 2009

I'd have picked Imran Nazir for World T20 - Bari

Cricinfo staff

Wasim Bari, Pakistan's interim chairman of selectors, has said the batsman Imran Nazir would have been an automatic choice for the ICC World Twenty20 in England had he been a selector at the time the squad was being picked. Nazir joined the Pakistan exodus from the rebel ICL to make himself available for national selection - his ICL team-mate Abdul Razzaq got the nod - but missed out.

"If I'd had anything to do with the selection of the T20 squad then I'd have picked Imran Nazir," Bari told Pakpassion.net. "The first five overs of a T20 game are crucial and Imran is an explosive player who could give us a much needed boost at the start of the innings. Not to forget that he's a brilliant fielder and really lifts the team with his efforts."

Nazir had a very successful stint with the Lahore Badshahs in the ICL with his explosive batting setting up his team's title win last year. Bari said Nazir - who failed to make the Test squad for the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka - would be considered for the limited-over games.

"He was cleared on Tuesday over the discipline issue in the RBS Cup. That means that he is now in contention for selection in the ODIs and T20s vs Sri Lanka."

Asked why opener Nasir Jamshed was ignored, Bari said it was due to his fitness and not form. "Nasir has missed the last two tours he was selected for. He pulled a hamstring against Australia and was out with malaria against the West Indies (both in the UAE)," Bari said. "He needs to work hard on his overall fitness but he's still young and there's a lot of cricket to be played in the coming months. Nasir is still in the reckoning and his chance will come again. I saw his innings against India and he looks like a very good batsman."

Bari added that the allrounder Fawad Alam would also have to wait his turn to break into a packed middle order, though his skills and abilities to succeed in all three formats are not in doubt.

"All we can do is select Fawad Alam in the squad. How he is utilised in games and where he features in the team gameplan is a decision for the coach and the captain to make. His batting position is their decision and it's easy for us to forget that they also have to accommodate Yousuf, Younis, Malik, Kamran, Afridi, Misbah and now Razzaq.

"Fawad's time will come, sooner or later he will get the opportunity to bat higher up in the order. He's a very popular guy, the best fielder in the team, a very good runner between the wickets and a thinking cricketer who plays proper cricket shots."

Bari said even domestic giants like Saeed Bin Nasir would find it difficult to break into the middle order. Nasir, 29, was included in the Test squad against Bangladesh in 2003-04 but failed to get a game. He has scored over 6000 first-class runs and maintained 40-plus averages in the four-day and one-day matches. Bari disagreed that a strong domestic record would guarantee success at the international level.

"It also depends on who those runs were scored against. Most of the matches in our domestic cricket aren't of a very high standard, some are but on the whole the standard is quite poor. I'm not saying that Saeed isn't a good player. I've seen him bat and he is a very good player who's very consistent at domestic level."

Bari said he wasn't very keen on taking on a full-time role. The selector, who took over following Abdul Qadir's resignation earlier this month served two previous terms as chairman of selectors and was the PCB's director of human resources immediately before his latest appointment.

"At the moment I already have another job with the PCB and I've told them that they should look for a permanent selection committee to take over as soon as possible. I've done the job a couple of times before and I've done it for longer than anyone else. I'm not keen on taking it up again. As far as I know I'm only selecting the squad for Sri Lanka, so hopefully the new committee will be appointed before the next tour."

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