Pakistan news December 12, 2011

Youngsters must be carefully chosen - Razzaq

Abdul Razzaq, the Pakistan allrounder, has said Pakistan must be cautious in their policy of picking young players and should ensure only those cricketers with real talent are given a chance. In the last two years, Pakistan have handed 11 different players Test debuts, while another five players have earned their first ODI cap. Razzaq said that rebuilding was necessary, but the selectors should be sure the players they back can be successful at international level.

"Bringing in young players is a good move and that is an ongoing process," Razzaq told ESPNcricinfo. "But only talented players, who are tough and have superb class, should be called up."

Pakistan experimented on their recent tour of Zimbabwe and have a couple of young, untested fast bowlers - Mohammad Talha and Mohammad Khalil - in their squad for the Tests in Bangladesh. Razzaq, though, said players should not only be tried against low-profile opposition. "I remember when I debuted in 1996 my seniors gave me a benchmark, and said I had to prove my ability by performing against teams like Australia, South Africa and England. All the newcomers should be tough enough to face that kind of opposition in order to be prosperous and play at least ten years of cricket."

Razzaq, who is set to depart for Australia to play for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League, said his next aim in international cricket was to play in the 2012 World Twenty20.

He said he would concentrate on the shorter formats of the game. "I still have some cricket left in me and the upcoming World Twenty20 is what I am focussing on. Test cricket is behind me; it's too late for a comeback. I want to make a final call on that but it's a decision that needs to be taken with the PCB in the loop."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent