Pakistan news July 20, 2014

Iqbal alleges conspiracy over exclusion

ESPNcricinfo staff

Faisal Iqbal, the Pakistan middle-order batsman, has questioned his continued exclusion from the national side.

He was recently denied a PCB contract and was overlooked for the tour of Sri Lanka, leaving his future in doubt. Iqbal has played only 26 Tests in a career that began in 2001 and last featured in a Pakistan side in 2010. He was among the touring party in 2012 to Sri Lanka and to Zimbabwe in 2013, but could not break into the XI.

"I have a simple question: why is Faisal Iqbal being held from playing for Pakistan team," he asked on Geo Super. "Who is the power behind my exclusion and why are they not allowing me to play? Since my debut [in 2001] players who debuted around me went playing on and on and even had thousands of comeback in the side. And I was dropped after my third comeback without even playing me in the XI.

"What am I going to do? I am scoring runs in domestic cricket, but gradually I have even been dropped from the central contracts as well so where should I go and put my case?" he said. "I am a senior player and have served the country and this should not be the way I should be treated."

Iqbal has a history of impressing on his return. In 2002, he scored 83 against Australia on his first innings back. Then came 139 against India - a highlight of his career - which guided Pakistan to a 341-run victory in Karachi in 2006. Pakistan's tour to Sri lanka in 2009 was the stage for his third comeback, when he scored a fifty. Iqbal's problem, though, has been consistency, which had often led to his exclusion.

"I don't want to criticise the system of Pakistan cricket. I have all due respect as I am here only because of the cricket I have played for Pakistan. I simply fail to understand why I am be being pushed back. Is there a conspiracy because of I am the nephew of Javed Miandad? Nobody is ready to understand and I am very frustrated at not being given answers."

Iqbal, 32, had a prolific career at junior level, since making the Under-15 side but his time with the seniors has, for the most part, been marred by allegations of nepotism. His career coincided with Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam-ul-Haq being in their prime, and was never able to cement his place in the team. His domestic figures are impressive with 10970 runs at 40.33 in 193 matches to go along with 5136 at 41.74 in List A matches. However, he fell short of those standards last season with only 538 runs at 35.86; 32 other batsmen had done better.

"I am always made a fool and asked to go back to scratch and play domestic cricket again and again. Am I only here to play domestic cricket? When will I be given due reward for my performance in domestic? If I was good enough to recalled in 2012, then why I was reduced to the bench and dropped without even giving me an opportunity. I am always taught to focus on ground performance but now I realise that I have been fooled all these years. I wanted to be heard to those who are the concerned (PCB and selectors)."

"I knew there was a conspiracy and that with time they will drop me from from every format and will later cut me from the central contract. Now what will I do, probably sell mangoes in garden and perform there to win place."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Wth is Faisal Iqbal talking about. Have you seen his avg? He is no star cricketer that should be given a chance again and again just cause he has been around since 2001. He is comparing himself to comebacks of many star players. Where do you play him? who do you drop for him? He is 32 years old why would we play him in place of young talent? Or give him a chance over people who have preformed 100 times better then him over that time but have been dropped due to being out of form? ON a side note I love Fawad Alam now what a great bat to have in ODI. He is reached another level of playing. Hopefully he can continue and should be invited to play a couple of tests too....

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    I guess he is a decent player, who can only get better if provided with continued chances. If you are unsure about your fate in a tournament whether you would play or not you never come in right frame of mind. Moreover bringing a player back for just one or two test matches and than discarding him for couple years to give a chance gain wouldn't serve the purpose. See how the same thing has damaged Asad Shafiq, its hard to deny that he is one of the best batsmen in Pakistan now, but undue pressure on him is hampering the game!

  • Dummy4 on July 22, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    I agree with Mamood Hussain, not sure what the issue is He played 26 Test matches and 18 ODI's Here is his AVG

    Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St Tests 26 44 2 1124 139 26.76 2545 44.16 1 8 136 5 22 0 ODIs 18 16 2 314 100* 22.42 519 60.50 1 0 24 4 3 0 Faisal is not good enough. Below is

  • hassu on July 21, 2014, 20:28 GMT

    I think the middle order of our future test team lies within Azhar Ali(Captain),Asad Shafiq(Still has a lot to improve but potential is there),Fawad Alam(Looks very dependable and being a left hander is a plus) and Sohaib Maqsood(has a lot of potential i believe). Umar Akmal should be made test match wicket keeper as well.

    Haris Sohail is one guy we should maybe test in the one dayers first,have heard a lot of good things about him but unfortunately he was given very few chances. He still has a central contract though so let's see.

  • asad on July 21, 2014, 20:11 GMT

    and only 121 more runs then Akmal despite playing 14 more innings than him. So this all shows he really doesn't deserve to play tests considering there are atleast 2 better players than him for his position. If he is complaining about not playing ODIs then still thats not right. His ODI stats are even worse than his test stats and he only has a SR of 60.50 in ODIs which is dangerously slow. But even if you don't consider all this just look at his FC avg which is only 40.33. I can think of 3 batsmen off the top of my head who have a better FC avg and are younger too; Fawad Alam(55.87), Haris Sohail(52.01) and Umar Akmal(49.04). If these guys don't even get to the test side consistently and don't complain either than Faisal Iqbal has no right to complain at all.

  • asad on July 21, 2014, 20:02 GMT

    It's not a conspiracy its just that you aren't good enough. If you look Iqbal's test career then he played 26 matches or 44 innings. Of those 44 innings he played the most(19) innings at #6. So its safe to say that he is competing for the #6 spot. If you compare Iqbal's #6 stats with Shafiq's(Pakistan's current #6) #6 stats then Iqbal has 417 runs, avg 23.16, SR 44.22, 100's 0, 50's 3 in 19 innings. Shafiq has 1283 runs, avg 38.87, SR 41.48, 100's 4, 50's 7 in 36 innings. Shafiq is superior in every way other than SR to Iqbal. But Shafiq hasn't been doing well and Umar Akmal has been selected. Akmal has played most of his innings at #5, stats are: 629 runs, avg 34.94, SR 66.07, 100's 1, 50's 4 in 18 innings. But Misbah has secured #5 so Akmal's stats at #6 are: 290 runs, avg 36.25, SR 61.70, 100's 0, 50's 2 in 10 innings. So both Akmal and Shafiq have better #6 stats than Iqbal. Looking at overall stats, Iqbal has played more innings then the other 2 but less runs then Shafiq cont.....

  • Android on July 21, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    faisal iqbal should never get selected now because PCB has given him a lot of chances. PCN should select(for tests) guys like; Imad wasim,Azhar attari,Imran Khan,Haris Sohail, Fawad Alam,Ehsan Adil e.t.c

  • shan on July 21, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    Let me say this He is and was far far better than Shoaib Malick on all grounds for a test spot ... He should have been an automatic slection once Inzi retired ... we still dont have a permenant replacement for a steady batsmen after younis and misbah we should groom some when these legends are still part of the team ... so we dont have a gap as we had after inzi and yousuf.... If Iqbal wasnt good enough why was he he selected for two tours??? and then he shouldnt have been dropped without giving him a chance ...SHAN from London ..

  • hassu on July 21, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    I'm sorry Iqbal but I think you just weren't a good enough player to play international cricket! Not saying that controversies don't happen but I don't think it was the case for you.

  • Nauman on July 21, 2014, 0:55 GMT

    He averages in mid 20s in both (26) Tests and (18) ODIs. This is not good enough to make such complaints.

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