LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee dropped in-form opening batsman Salman Butt while recalled PSL performers Kamran Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad in a preliminary squad for upcoming West Indies series.

Butt, who has been giving his best and excelled in almost all the tournaments, he played so far, and was knocking at the selectors’ doors with his consistent performances, but he was once again dropped by the selectors, reason best known to the selectors.

A source close to Salman Butt said: “Such treatment of the cricket board and selectors with top performers of domestic cricket has already destroyed careers of many talented players, who either preferred to play for another country or board, or quit the game with utter disappointment. If such injustices will continue in the board unabated, it will make future of Pakistan cricket bleak.”

On the other hand, top performer wicket-keeping batsman of Pakistan Super League (PSL) Kamran Akmal, who impressed the selectors with his outstanding knocks and match-winning performances, finally booked berth in the preliminary squad. He scored 1,035 in the premier first class tournament and another 361 in the National One-day Cup in the 2016-17 season.

Kamran, who played the last of his 154 one-day internationals in 2013 and his last Twenty20 in 2014, also finished as top run-getter with 353 runs in the Pakistan Super League, which finished on Sunday. The sources although raised a question that how could a team had two wicketkeepers in shape of T20 captain Sarfraz Ahmad and Kamran Akmal, yet the latter had already replied by saying he was ready to play as a specialist batsman and vowed to not only strengthen team’s batting department but also helping the county win crucial matches through his outstanding performances.”

Opener Ahmed Shehzad was another name, who was recalled for the preliminary squad. He was part of national team for the last year's World Twenty20 held in India and later, was dropped after former head coach Waqar Younis described him as an undisciplined player in his post-match report.

Shahzad didn’t sit back but preferred to work hard, the proof of which was his exceptional performances in the National One-day Cup, where he finished top scorer, by scoring 653 runs. He also proved his mettle in the PSL where he played some brilliant knocks to guide his team to important victories and thus succeeded in getting his name booked in the preliminary squad.

Top performing youngsters of the PSL Shadab Khan, Usama Mir, Usman Shinwari, Hussain Talat, Ammad Butt, Hasan Ali, M Abbas and others proved their mettle through their outstanding performances and succeeded in booking berth in the preliminary squad.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials said that the preliminary squad would train under head coach Mickey Arthur in a camp to be held here at the Gaddafi Stadium from March 11 to 17 and then the team would leave for West Indies three days later of the camp. Pakistan will play the first Twenty20 international in Barbados on March 26, which will be followed by three one-day internationals and as many Tests.

PRELIMINARY SQUAD: Ahmed Shehzad, M Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Asif Zakir, Saad Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed, Kamran Akmal, Fahim Ashraf, Hussain Talat, Ammad Butt, M Aamir, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Rumman Raees, Sohail Khan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Tanveer, M Abbas, Usman Shinwari, Usama Mir, Immad Wasim, M Asghar, Shadab Khan, M Nawaz, Yasir Shah.

 

 

 

AZHAR KHAN