Salahuddin Ahmed, Pakistan's chief selector, has lashed out at Javed Miandad for his criticism of the national selection committee in the wake of the one-day series loss against South Africa.
Miandad blamed the selectors for persisting with older players while sidelining young talent. Salahuddin responded by saying that the best possible combination was chosen for the series. "The selectors invariably picked the best available lot of players. Why this hue and cry if Pakistan lost to the No. 2 side in the world?
"Where was he [Miandad] when Pakistan finished runners-up in the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa or when our team won the one-day series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi [in May 2007] soon after we took over as selectors?"
Salahuddin emphasised the importance of selecting senior players and opposed Miandad's view that young talent should have been picked for the latter part of the series. "Had we played either one of them [younger players like Khurram Manzoor or Khalid Latif] and if the move had backfired, people like Miandad would have been screaming that the selectors had done injustice to the younger talent by exposing them in a crunch game.
"We always consulted them [Shoaib Malik and Geoff Lawson] before picking the teams. And if some of the players failed to perform, then it was no fault of ours. How are we to blame if the team lost because of players' reckless approach?"
Pakistan lost the final ODI in Lahore, and the series, losing their last six wickets for 20 runs after a series of rash strokes from the batsmen.