LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has said that the cricketers are heroes of the country and they must go with honour.

Speaking at the ‘meet the press with SJAL’ here at the National Hockey Stadium on Friday, Inzamam said: “Our cricketers serve the country in the best possible way, which make them real heroes and they must go with honour and they must be given remarkable farewell by the board. The players should also inform the PCB before announcing the retirement so that they must be sent off in a great manner.”

To a query regarding Misbah-ul-Haq captaincy and retirement, the chief selector said: “No one can deny Misbah’s services as he is one of the successful Test captains of Pakistan cricket and he has been leading the team in a great way. But one thing is quite clear that Misbah has to go one day, so we must see him off in a trend-setting manner, and other greats should also be given the best farewells.”

Replying to query regarding domestic cricket, Inzamam has clarified that there is no dearth of talent at domestic level, because the players like Babar Azam and Sharjeel Khan are products of the same domestic cricket. The only need of the hour is to groom them well and they should also perform well to prove their selection right,” he said and added: “To book berth into the national side, the top performers should also have better strike rate, as without it, they can’t be considered.”

Speaking about recent performance of Pakistan team, the chief selector said: “Although our performance was not up to the mark as every Asian team has to struggle at fast tracks of Australia and New Zealand, but I would like to quote here that it was Pakistan cricket team, which has the best track record of winning the maximum away series, among the entire Asian region teams.”

To a question about Salman Butt, he said: “When you are out for five years, you need to make a comeback by playing a complete season of domestic cricket. I would like to present the example of off-spinner Saeed Ajmal. When he came back after remodelling his action, we rushed him into the national team. I think that was very early, as, I think, he should have played in the domestic circuit for six months at least,” he added.

About Kamran Akmal, Inzamam thinks he doesn’t fit in the current combination due the presence of T20 captain Sarfraz Ahmed. “There was a time, when Moin Khan and Rashid Latif used to play together. Both of them were good players but we could only opt for one in the team. Sarfraz is performing really well and although Kamran is also performing outstandingly in the domestic circuit, yet unfortunately, we do not have space for him in the national team right now.

“There are times when someone is performing and the team needs that kind of a player, so he gets a chance immediately. So, luck also plays an important role in a cricketer’s career. Everything is not in the hands of the selectors,” he added.

The chief selector, who would co-chair the round-table conference to be hosted by the PCB here on March 6 and 7, said: “In the meeting, we will take suggestions from former cricketers on how we can improve our teams’ performance. We will ask them to help us understand how can we bring our cricket to terms with international standards,” Inzamam concluded.