Pakistan news February 4, 2014

Aamer Sohail named Pakistan's chief selector


Former Pakistan batsman and captain Aamer Sohail has been appointed the PCB's director of game development, as well as chief selector. Mohammad Ilyas has been named the selector for junior and women teams.

Pakistan have not had a full-time chairman of selectors since Iqbal Qasim decided to not renew his contract with the PCB in July 2013.

Subsequently Moin Khan was named chief selector, only to be removed when the Islamabad High Court overruled all major decisions taken by interim PCB chairman Najam Sethi. The PCB had been functioning under an interim management committee for a large chunk of 2013 as a fallout of the court suspending Zaka Ashraf as board chairman in May; it ruled Ashraf's election to be questionable. But then Ashraf was reinstated by the court as PCB chief in January.

"This time I will be engaging all the stakeholders to take Pakistan cricket to the next level," Sohail said at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore after his appointment. "I am thankful to the PCB and especially Zaka Ashraf who reposed his confidence in me and included me in his team."

The PCB has retained the previous members of the selection committee, including Azhar Khan, Saleem Jaffar and Farukh Zaman who will work under Sohail. Their next task is to pick the side for the upcoming Asia Cup in Bangladesh in the last week of February.

"These (three) are the members who have been working in the past with the coach and captain and I will need their inputs," Sohail said. "We will be meeting in next couple of days to discuss the selection (for the upcoming Asia Cup and World T20).

Ashraf confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Sohail's appointment was one of the major changes approved by the PCB's governing board on Monday. "We want to have an aggressive stance on filtration of talent from our domestic cricket and Aamer being an experienced contender is the best man to carry out our plan," Ashraf said. "We have decided to rediscover the national academies with him at the helm with additional responsibility of national selection."

Sohail had held the same directorial post in Ijaz Butt's regime in 2009, but quit because of the reported lack of freedom working on the post. However, Ashraf hinted at a full confidence in his scheme for the revival of national academies, where operations have been clamped down since 2009. Sohail also held the chief selector's post just after the 2003 World Cup. That was the era where many a youngster was brought in to replace the generation of Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Waqar Younis.

"Coordination, I believe, is very important and all the stakeholders should be on one page and understand each other before taking decisions," Sohail said. "I want logic to prevail."

Sohail said he has spent ample time with the outgoing coach Dav Whatmore and got his inputs before chalking out his plan. "I need to see what the captain is comfortable with because I need to see the comfort levels as well and can't just impose my plan. So whatever I come up with will be after a coordinated effort."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 7, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    Hi Guys, What about the coach? Is it national coach or foreign coach? Is there any application for that Job? And also what is the decision they are going to take on M.Aamir's matter? Pleas let me know through my mail. ( Thanks Abdur Rahman.

  • Dummy4 on February 7, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Outrageous! yet another political appointment although the latest is a famed Cricketer but his tactics and his temperament has always been arguably questionable! Amir has been at loggerheads with many within the board as well as with various players! and within days of his appointment, PCB accounted its first casualty for Moin Khan has been brushed aside. See this guy is here for more destruction for already the matters at PCB are going to dogs! what do you expect from "Shareefs"...that was very much obvious for they wont learn any lesson from their own checkered history nor will Aamir Sohail!!

  • Reza on February 6, 2014, 8:46 GMT

    I'm not in a position to talk about politics but the man did play aggressive cricket which has been lacking for sometime. Also as a batsmen he will be keen to encourage a solid line up. Additionally most batsmen don't bowl and therefore their fielding becomes extremely important and hopefully will be considered as part of the selection process. Most importantly National centres of excellence are the basic building blocks available to any successful side. There are plenty of natural cricketers in Pakistan but they only fall down due to their lack of exposure to mental/physical cricket outside their comfort zone. Therefore Domestic cricketmust become a lot more competitive. Take the Aussies as an example - There's nothing wrong with being agressive once you take the pitch but at stumps they are more then happy to welcome you and chat as normal sportsmen. Only time will tell - Fortune favours the Brave

  • Akhtar on February 6, 2014, 7:27 GMT

    Things will not get better for sure with this political appointment. Aamer sohail had a checkered career as a player and even more dubious tenure as a chief selector in the past. His biased selection of Junaid Zia is still fresh in mind. He also selected Farhan Adil and Yasir Ali against Bangladesh in a test when many more deserving players were available. Pakistan almost lost that test against Bangladesh and only because of Inzamamul Haq's heroics Pakistan barely managed to win that test by 1 wicket.

  • Sharjeel on February 6, 2014, 6:04 GMT

    If Amir Sohail wants 'logic to prevail', can he or anyone explain the logic behind selecting Junaid Zia for the Pakistan national team. Being son of the then Chairman PCB (Tauqir Zia) doesn't count.

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2014, 4:50 GMT

    I am sure he will not be able to shape Pakistan batting better as his appointment is based purely on political affiliation as was of the most disregarded chairman Mr. Najam Sehti. Let us hope beter, even then.

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2014, 2:30 GMT

    that's great finally we got some one who knows cricket

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    Now this sounds to be a Good News, but Muhammad Ilyas shouldn't have been named.

  • Aamir on February 5, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    Well done Aamir Sohail! "your political efforts (campaigns for PMLN) really paid off!". I was the biggest fan of Aamir Sohail's batting but he is definitely not the man for this job. Biggest problem being his dictatorial approach towards selection and decision making. This is very true he brought forward quite a few young players (mostly from Lahore) during his 2003 era. Players like Imran Farhat, Fawad Alam, Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt, Taufeeq Umar, Shoaib Malik, etc none of them was worthy to be in Pakistan's National team. My only request to Aamir is "please look around elsewhere as well, Lahore isn't the only place where cricket is played, please come to KPK and FATA as well before making any new selection". And please don't bring Sohail Tanveer, Umar Amin or Shoaib Malik back in the team for God's sake!!

  • RankPace on February 5, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    He himself was one of the best fielder in the Pakistan team when he was playing. I hope he gives the same importance to fielding to this Pakistani team. As I can see Pakistan looses half of the matches due to poor fielding. The other half is lost to poor batting. I hope he stops the revolving door/ musical chairs policy with Hafeez, Azhar & Shafiq and get in some steady younsters who can perform at the Test level like Younis, Yousuf & Misbah. Others seem to be useless.

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