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

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