ISLAMABAD Pakistan cricket team chances in the last edition of Champions Trophy schedule to be held in England in June suffer a blow as premier fast bowler Umar Gul was ruled out from participation.

It was expected that Gul is almost certain to miss the touring squad due to the injury during the South Africa tour. Now after his exit, Pakistan face almost similar situation they faced in South Africa, as now Pakistan fast bowling department will heavily rely on inexperienced newcomers including Junaid Khan, M. Irfan, Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz.

Wahab remained the only most experienced ODI bowler for the team but he is not in his prime form and proved too expensive in his outings against Proteas. Juniad is the only bowler on which the team could rely as. Irfan is also suffering from fitness problems and his extra-ordinary height is also creating problems for him to remain in shape., Irfan starts to struggle after bowling three overs. Rahat Ali has never played in England and has to learn a lot before cementing his place in the playing XI.

Selectors now face a real test of their abilities and handling the situation. In these circumstances, chief selector should use his brain instead of bowing down to the pressure from some certain quarters, who want to pressurize him and include the player of their likings. This is the only major trophy, which is missing from the otherwise decorated cap and this would be the last chance to complete the crown, a s after England the event would be scrapped.

One-day cricket is all about all-rounders. Every cricket playing nation tries to include maximum players who could bowl and bat. But the situation is completely different when it comes to Pakistan. The PCB had wasted too many great all-rounders in the past too, and the policy is still in place unabated. Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood could have been the dark horses for Pakistan, as they had years of experience playing in England domestic leagues. Azhar is playing in almost all the top leagues of the world, but he is not even considered by the PCB.

The 30-member squad announced by the PCB still had the depth, but the thing that matters most is when the selectors pick the final 15 players for the squad, whom they have picked and who would be dropped. The England condition is ideal for Yasir Arafat, Sohail Tanveer and Hammad Azam. Especially Hammad is very unlucky as despite giving countless performances in domestic cricket with both willow and leather, he was not given even handful opportunities by the chief selector, which is a great injustice to a complete player like Hammad’s calibre.

It is true that Arafat has not given satisfactory performances in the recent past, but one should kept in mind the conditions were not in his favour. Now it's a completely different ball game as England is is Arafat's home den, where he knows each and every ground more than anyone else. Sohail Tanveer, if gets the selectors nod, could also prove to be the match winner, as he is also a very good all-rounder. The swinging and seaming conditions of Britain would certainly help Soahil's style of bowling and he could also hit big shots. Pakistan spin bowling department as usual looks perfect with Saeed Ajmal as spearhead and M Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Rehman as backups.

The other area of concern for the green caps would be their batting, which clearly looks a fragile one. Especially with the only senior batsman Younus Khan was not even considered for selection, Misbah and company are bound to struggle when it comes to bat in the middle overs. Azhar Ali lacks the basic technique required to dope with the swinging deliveries. Umar Akmal hardly given chance; Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi are inconsistent performers. Kamran Akmal is the ideal opener, but his talent is wasted by sending him in the late orders. Selectors should go out for balanced side, rather than accommodating the blue-eyed, they should put the country first and the only criteria of selection must be their performances.