Pakistan news August 1, 2011

No agenda against senior players - Mohsin

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan's chairman of selectors, Mohsin Khan has denied that the Pakistan board has an agenda against senior players. Mohsin was responding to Pakistan allrounder Abdul Razzaq's comments, in an earlier interview, in which he had accused the Pakistan Cricket Board of indulging in conspiracy to keep senior players out of the national team.

It's the job of the selection committee to finalise the team," Mohsin told Express Tribune. "I don't know about any lobby and I don't feel there is any agenda against the senior players."

While senior players like Razzaq and Shahid Afridi were not included in Pakistan's squad for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, the selectors also chose to rest fast bowlers Umar Gul, Tanvir Ahmed and Wahab Riaz, with fringe seamers Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, Aizaz Cheema and Junaid Khan making up the pace attack. There was also a change in the spin department with Abdur Rehman being rested and Yasir Shah being given an opportunity to make his international debut.

Reacting to the team selection, Razzaq had told the Urdu newspaper Jang, that "axing of senior players is not in the interest of Pakistan cricket". Razzaq alleged there was a lobby within the PCB that was misguiding the board chairman Ijaz Butt. "It's a conspiracy against the senior players," Razzaq said. "There's a lobby which is misguiding the chairman who is working sincerely for the promotion of the game. They just want to secure their position in the board and their agenda is against the interest of Pakistan cricket.

Razzaq, who last played for Pakistan when they were beaten by India in the World Cup semi-final earlier this year, said that he had "fallen victim to the conspiracies of this lobby".

"This lobby is active in slowly ousting all senior players from the team and there is one main person who is calling the shots from behind the curtain," he said.

However Mohsin dismissed the allegations and said the senior players "should not be disheartened and should work on winning their place by proving their worth in the domestic tournaments".

"The selection committee is working on a simple policy that any player who is doing well should get a chance," Mohsin said. "We just want to give a chance to the youngsters who are our future. If there was an agenda then we wouldn't have a 35-year old captain [Misbah-ul-Haq] who is also a very senior player."

The squad for Zimbabwe includes three uncapped players - top-order batsman Rameez Raja, legspinner Shah and seamer Cheema. Mohsin had earlier explained that the fresh look to the squad was an effort to blood youngsters. "We have to bring in young players along with seniors so that they could be groomed," he said.