ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the 15-member squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 scheduled to be played in England from June 6 as per expectations.

Chief selector Iqbal Qasim instead of going for the ground realities preferred the blue-eyed players who had strong backing from hidden hands. How on earth is it possible to announce a squad for the limited overs game, with not a single reliable all-rounder in the squad?

Qasim have to answer some simple questions, what is the criteria for the selection in the team when Kamran Akmal, M Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed and even Shoaib Malik were selected, then what are the reasons behind including Imran Farhat, who could only bat at the top order. What are the reasons of dropping such a naturally gifted batsman Umar Akmal, who could single-handedly turn the entire situation of the match? If Shahid Afridi is not giving satisfactory performances and axed, then why not Shoaib Malik, who despite given countless opportunities, still managed to cling on to the spot.

Hammad Azam, who managed to score a lot of runs in the domestic cricket and in the recently concluded championships and also took so many wickets, was not considered for the selection. Qasim repeatedly said the only criteria for the selection would be performance so where is now that criteria and above all Sohail Tanveer, who was strongly recommended by Wasim Akram and others, failed to impress the chief selector.

The fast bowling department looks fragile as Juniad Khan and M Irfan have to share the lime burden as far as providing early wickets are concerned. Wahab Riaz proved too expensive in South Africa, but he managed to get selected while Ehsan Adil struggled in the domestic cricket, but he was given nod ahead of Aizaz Cheema. The selected pacers are only specialized in bowling and none of them can bat so had the selectors chosen all-rounders, both purposes could have easily served.

Looking at the selected squad, one thing is quite clear that Afridi was shown the door not because of form, but he was punished for meeting with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and was given a clear message to avoid doing such things in future too, if he wants to represent country any further.

The great injustice was done with Hammad Azam, Sohail Tanveer and especially Umar Akmal, who is a great prospect, but reasons best known to the chief selector and PCB chairman Chaudhry Zaka Asharf, why were they not picked?

Umar is very unfortunate to born in this part of the world, where there is no place for genuine talent and the only criteria for selection is to be the close relative of someone in the good books of the PCB.

Pakistan cricket team is bound to struggle even in the tour matches in Ireland and Scotland, the Champions Trophy is a far cry, without having quality players in their ranks, how would the PCB management expect getting the desired results? Asad Shafiq is struggling in the domestic cricket and failed miserably in South African pitches, so how would he face the challenging conditions in England. The PCB could have easily recalled Younus Khan in place of injured Umar Gul to strengthen the fragile middle order, but they decided against him.

Only a miracle can help Pakistan to even reach the semi-finals of the last edition of the Champions Trophy, the only trophy that they could not win yet so by selecting such a weak team, all hopes of winning the event are almost vanished.