Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2011 August 8, 2011

Akram puzzled by Pakistan selection

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has questioned the decision to rest fast bowlers Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe saying it would hamper their growth as bowlers.

"I don't mind taking Zimbabwe lightly and giving chances to youngsters," Akram told AFP, "but it is surprising that you rest Riaz who has just started his career a year ago and is progressing. He doesn't need rest."

The Pakistan selectors also omitted seamer Tanvir Ahmed, and instead chose to go with an inexperienced pace attack comprising Sohail Khan, Sohail Tanvir, debutant Aizaz Cheema and Junaid Khan. Commenting on the selection, chief selector Mohsin Khan had said the fresh look to the squad was an effort to blood youngsters. However Akram said the tour would have been a good opportunity for Riaz to continue his development and for Gul to regain his form.

"I have seen that out-of-form paceman get back to form by playing easier teams, but here we have rested the two main pacemen and they were allowed to play county cricket, instead of doing the national duty," Wasim said. "The idea to groom a young paceman is to give him more and more opportunities and not to rest him. Riaz needs opportunities and it's not wise for him to rest at this stage."

Riaz, who has played seven Tests and 22 ODIs for Pakistan, was the leading wicket-taker for Kent in the Friends Life t20 competition with 20 wickets from 13 games while Gul picked up 12 wickets from eight games for Sussex.

Wasim said teams like India and Australia who played continuously could afford to rest key players, unlike Pakistan whose cricket calendar is not as packed. "If we see India giving rest to their key players, it's understandable because they play too much cricket throughout the year but Pakistan rarely plays Tests and here we are without our rising paceman."

Akram praised the selection of 31-year-old Cheema, who was rewarded for his solid performances on the domestic circuit. "Cheema has been leading wicket-taker in Pakistan's domestic season, so he deserved a chance but there should be more consistency in selection," he said.

Akram also said that Pakistan still needed the services of former captain Shahid Afridi who announced his retirement from international cricket following a dispute with the Pakistan board. "I won't speak much on the issue but Afridi is needed," Akram said. "He has a lot of cricket left in him and he can still do a lot for the Pakistan team."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 11, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Don't you think Ijaz but would also be feeling tired & he need a little rest as well. After all he is a human being at least look like!!!!

  • Khair ul on August 11, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    This is laughable! It is not as if Pakistan players are playing so much cricket that they need rest. This would have been an opportunity for players to find some form against arguably a less challenging team; players such as Umar Gul upon whom the team relies so much. And Wahab Riaz, a relative newcomer definitely does not need rest, unless selectors have some other more potent options that they want to try out, but I can't see anyone like that.

  • Dummy4 on August 11, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    Yes Wasim Bahi is right Wahab needs to continue and Pakistani Team need Boom Boom Afridi and Umar Gul also need to continur his form.

  • Ahsan on August 11, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    @Acton49: Your words: ""They should take the leaf out of BCCI selection on Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar ...... still plying their trade at the top level in all format of the game"" Only Tendulkar plays ODI & Tests but not T20. Laxman & Dravid play Tests only, even BCCI didn't know that Dravid don't want to play ODIs thatswhy they selected him but this too will be his last ODI series after almost 2 years of no limited overs cricket to his name at international level.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    wow love how much attention this article is getting from our friends from across the pond. Hey! here's an idea, why dont you go to the articles on the series happening in England right now, and share your two cents on how their opposition can cross the 300 mark in a test match innings? :)

  • Abdul on August 10, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Pakistan cricket selector are in a world on their own. They should take the leaf out of BCCI selection on Dravid, Laxman, Tendulkar ...... still plying their trade at the top level in all format of the game...... But Pakistan is different.... quite brainless really, you have Mo Yo who in the English county gave a performance that had people in awe in a wicket that were falling as nine pins. Zimbabwe just beat BD. Do you think Pakistan in this climate of mediocrity would beat Zimbabwe? I suppose if you call Gul as a spearhead bowler, then Jonathan Trott would be better placed to land two balls in the same place than Gul.

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    Just goes on to show what PCB is doing wrong. They are destroying the confidence of youngsters. Not too sure about Afridi, but I do believe PCB has been responsible for ruining raw talent which has always been there in Pak. Its a pity such good bowlers get treated like that. I wouldn't be surprise if one of these budding talents would walk the same path Amir and Asif did.

  • Amjad on August 9, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Now, imagine this. Few years down the line when team pak has shown some poor poor performances, and things look way out of order just as was in 2010 with yet another broken team, who they gona turn to? yea thats Afridi!

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    hi wasim are right at the time waseem bhai i agree with u.PCB chairman ijaz butt is not on he should resigned.and afridi right at the time.we need a responseable chairman for pakistan point of view Imran Khan is a best man for pakistan cricket board chairman,i think he showed a gud result becouse we want to see a successfull team all in world,we want a bright PAKISTAN.

  • Aminur on August 9, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    Wasim has said exactly what The selectors were needed to do..why rest for wahab & gul?? just absurd decision from the selectors..they need to's the growing time for wahab..and surely gul could get back his confidence there what is very important for pakistan..

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