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May 3, 2011
Mohsin Khan, Pakistan's chief selector, is on the verge of resigning from his post after differences developed with fellow selectors over the selection of the 15-man squad for the Tests against the West Indies.
Khan, who was appointed ahead of the World T20 last year, has given an ultimatum to the PCB to resolve the matter by lunchtime Wednesday, otherwise he will announce his stepping down later in the afternoon. "I will make an important decision regarding my future tomorrow [Wednesday]," Khan told ESPNcricinfo. "There have been issues over the selection of this squad and they need to be resolved. I have told the board about it."
Though Khan refused to go into details, ESPNcricinfo understands there were differences over at least a couple of the selections, one of which is believed to be that of wicketkeeper Adnan Akmal who was surprisingly overlooked. Mohammad Salman, who has been impressive behind the stumps in the ongoing ODI series, is now set to make his Test debut in the two-match series that starts on May 12.
But questions were asked over Akmal's exclusion, especially given his impressive performances with the gloves in the four Tests he played since debuting against South Africa last year. It is not currently clear who signed off on Akmal's exclusion ultimately. Only the chairman of the board has the authority to select or axe a player over and above the head selector, but the relationship between Ijaz Butt and Khan remains trouble-free.
Both of Khan's direct predecessors, Iqbal Qasim and Abdul Qadir, were scathing in their criticism of the non-selection of Akmal. "After his brilliant wicket-keeping in New Zealand where he took eight catches in a Test last year, Adnan deserved a place in the Test team. It is total injustice against a youngster," Qasim said. "I don't know what type of rebuilding they [selectors] talk about when they eliminated a deserving youngster."
Another former selection head, Salahuddin Ahmed, expressed concerns over the continued non-selection of Danish Kaneria, who has yet to be cleared by a board integrity committee following his entanglement - and eventual clearance from - a spot-fixing case in Essex last year.
There is a distinct possibility that a few long-term differences of opinion with other members of the selection committee are also at play behind the decision; the committee has two other full-time members in Mohammad Ilyas and Azhar Khan, and two co-opted members in Farrukh Zaman and Asif Baloch.
If Khan does ultimately step down, he will be the fifth chairman of selectors to do so under the tenure of Butt, following Salahuddin, Wasim Bari (who was an interim option), Qadir and Qasim.
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