KARACHI - Pakistan chief selector Haroon Rasheed said they had plans to rest some senior players on the coming tour to Zimbabwe but ruled out an early return for banned pacer M Aamir to the national team.

Talking to the reporters here at the National Stadium, Haroon said: “There is a strong likelihood that we will rest some senior players for the Zimbabwe tour as we want to test our some more players from our shortlist of players we have prepared for future tours. “We have a pool of new players in the loop and since we have the World T20 Cup in India next March we want to test some of them. Skills can be developed but we want to mainly see how they adjust temperamentally to international cricket,” he said.

He also ruled out the possibility of also resting the national T20 captain Shahid Afridi for the coming tour in late September. “How can you rest the captain he has to be there to see and check the new players because he is an integral part of our plans to develop a strong side for the World Cup,” Haroon said.

The decision to rest senior players snowballed into a major controversy recently when Afridi and head coach Waqar Younis decided to rest wicketkeeper, Sarfaraz Ahmed for the two T20 matches in Sri Lanka that Pakistan won. There was more controversy generated when Haroon was quoted as saying that the selectors had plans to make Sarfaraz captain in some T20 matches before the world event.

“I said something else in some other context and it was misunderstood. I had talked about giving Sarfaraz a chance to lead the Pakistan A team in coming series against the England Lions team. I think the decision to rest Sarfaraz was a non-issue and it was made into a controversy. If you see the world over teams at times have to rest some senior players to try out some new players,” he reminded.

Talking about M Aamir whose spot fixing ban ends in September, Haroon said there was a lot of premature talk and speculation about playing him on the tour to Zimbabwe. Pakistan has agreed to play three T20 and three ODIs in Zimbabwe starting from last week of September.

“Look not even a top cricketer can hit top form after remaining away from international cricket for five years like Aamir has done. We first want to watch him play a number of first class matches and see his form and fitness and performances before deciding what is best for him,” Haroon said.

He also said there were no plans to recommend to the PCB to send a member of the national selection committee with the Pakistan team on foreign tours. “I don’t think this has really helped us in the future in fact it has only led to more controversies. But yes we can contemplate asking the board to send a selector for a 10 to 12 day period on foreign tours so that he can observe things and come back and discuss it with his fellow selectors,” Haroon said.

The chief selector also described senior batsman Younus Khan as an asset for the country who deserves to be treated with all respect. “He is an important figure in Pakistan’s batting and team and where we feel we can play him in ODIs as well we will do that. It is understandable that since he is in prime form he feels he can play in any format, it would be the same for others as well.”

Haroon also talked about having good understanding with the team management since the common goal of both was to build a strong Pakistan team for the future.