ISLAMABAD     -   Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on selecting a balanced squad for the upcoming ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup 2019, which will be held in Cox’s Bazar and Mirpur, Bangladesh from November 12.

While talking to The Nation on Saturday, Rashid said: “Top class players were given chances in the previous tournaments, but this time the PCB relied on those players, who are performing at domestic circuit since long. The inclusion of Rohail Nazir and Haider Ali is a clear indication that the domestic performers are catching the eyes of the PCB. I think another aggressive player Ali Imran will be an automatic choice for the T20 format. I feel that Ali needs to work on his technique before becoming a regular limited-over player. He is one of the exciting opening batsmen.

I seriously feel for the cricketers, who had no role in the new setup. As only six teams are to play the country’s premier first class tournament, there will be fewer opportunities for them. Many cricketers stop pursuing their careers, if they do not get chances at U-16 and U-19 levels. I will write a letter to the PCB and urge them to make plans for those, who did not get chances. We have a huge crop of unselected players. Talented players are ignored, while only few, who play at domestic level, get chances. This thing is damaging Pakistan cricket. If these things will continue, then Pakistan cricket will take at least a century to get back to top.”

“It is good that players like Naseem Shah, Musa Khan and Hussnain are getting chances. I support PCB’s stance to provide chances to these players in the longer version of the game. It does not matter, if they do not perform in the Australian series. As they have lot of time, exposure will make them strong and powerful just like Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Muhammad Aamir and Wahab have played red ball cricket. I think they are required in the T20 format. We have seen Australians hammering Sri Lanka in the T20 Internationals. But when Australians will face Pakistan in the shorter version of the game, things will be completely different. I think Pakistan will pose very serious challenge to Aussies, as we have a balanced squad and a new captain. As far as the Test matches are concerned, we might struggle in the beginning, as we are a young and inexperienced side. But I think Abbas, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah and Yasir Shah will lead Pakistan bowling attack in the Test matches,” he added.

“The PCB must find players and raw talent, who spend time in the grounds. We are blessed with immense amount of natural talent. We need to find hidden talented players by holding country-wide talent hunt programmes just like Lahore Qalandars and Karachi Kings, as the PCB cannot find fresh talent without working on war footings. I think Pakistan team might again lose to Afghanistan in the Emerging Asia Cup. If Pakistan team will play according to their potential, they will get excellent results. Hussnain, Umar Khan and other youngsters would take huge benefit from the tournament. But I insist that the PCB must work on finding fresh talented players, which are being wasted,” Rashid concluded.