ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief selector and legendry leg spinner Abdul Qadir questioned Pakistan playing XI in the recently-concluded ODI series against England and held the selectors responsible for the debacle.

Talking to The Nation, Qadir said: “I never dreamt about selecting such a pathetic team for the One-Day Internationals against such a tough opponent. Azhar Ali is a classic example of the PCB’s wrong policies, as this lad doesn’t even deserve a place in the one-day side, but instead he ODI captain, which is highly injustice with the deserving players, who are out of the national team just because of Azahr in the playing XI.”

Qadir said the time was high when the PCB should have some mercy on the national team and masses and restrict Azhar Ali to only Test squad as he is best suited to longer version of the game and without wasting further time, he must be sacked as ODI captain and Sarfraz Ahmed must be nominated to lead the ODI side. Sarfraz has proved his abilities as a captain in the one-off T20 as he manipulated his options superbly and guided the national team to a tremendous triumph. Had Azhar or anyone else been skipping in that match, England could easily have posted 200 plus total that could help them win the match.”

He said Sharjeel Khan must be restricted to T20 matches only, as he was an explosive batsman and could provide the quick start which Pakistan team badly needed. “Sharjeel is a misfit in the ODIs and Test matches and same is the case with Wahab Riaz, who, I think, should only play Test matches. We need a wicket-taking bowler, who could provide breakthroughs up the order.

“I want to know one simple thing from the PCB and the selectors that on what grounds and performances, Aamir was given all the Test matches, ODIs and T20 match. He failed to claim even three wickets in an innings in four Tests and same was the case in ODIs and one-off T20. On the other hand, Rahat Ali and Sohail Khan were exceptional and deserve to get regular chances in the playing XI. Sohail was highly unlucky not to be included in first two Tests and as soon he was given opportunity, he grabbed five wickets in first innings of the third and fourth Test matches, which was enough to prove his worth. Instead of keeping both Rahat and Sohail for ODIs, they were sent home and Aamir and Wahab were retained, which was quite surprising for not only me but also for other greats,” he added.

Qadir said in his personal opinion, Pakistan needed a bowler, who could provide early breakthrough and that too on consistent basis. “Aamir has yet to prove his credentials upon his return, while I still think Junaid Khan should spearhead Pakistan bowling attack, but he is victim of PCB’s double standards. If were a chief selector, I would have selected Salman Butt and Ahmed Shahzad as openers and also included Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfraz Ahmed, Immad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali, Junaid Khan, Danish Kaneria in the playing XI for the ODIs. While standbys would be Babar Azam, Aamir Yamin, Fawad Alam and Abdul Razzaq subject to fitness.”

He said: “Now people could argue on what grounds a banned player like Kaneria was included in the squad, and I would answer he is not banned by the PCB, as he did nothing wrong, instead he is a match winner and Pakistan team needs a strike bowler like him, while Razzaq can still play more than handy role.

“If Misbah can play at 40 plus, then why not Razzaq. If he can prove his fitness, he should be given chance, as he can resolve Pakistan woes both with leather and willow. Anwar Ali and Aamir Yamin are genuine all-rounders while Immad Wasim is a match-winner. Sohail, Rahat and Juniad can provide wickets up the order which will surely help Pakistan team dictate its terms against any given opponent,” Qadir concluded.