ISLAMABAD - Highly talented Islamabad’s all-rounder Zohaib Ahmed Saturday said he was fully fit and ready to help not only Islamabad Region, but Pakistan cricket as well for next 3 to 5 years.

32-year-old Zohaib, during an exclusive interview to The Nation, said his morale was low because of selector’s snub despite he had been declared the best all rounder in 2014 and 2015.

He lamented that as he had no approach in the PCB he had been denied from representing Pakistan team.

“Talent of Islamabad especially and to some extent Rawalpindi as well, go waste as no one in the PCB bother to discuss our brilliant and unmatched performances and that too at consistent basis. I was working very hard and wanted to help Pakistan cricket as Pakistan team was facing huge crisis after England series where Salman Butt, Asif and Aamir were found guilty of spot-fixing. I was producing match-winning results for my region Islamabad both as skipper and as an all-rounder. I started to even receiving congratulations from different players, as my name was considered for Pakistan team in the T20 Internationals. But without any reasons and without any chance provided to me, all of a sudden, my name disappeared. It was arguably highly dark period of my professional carrier as I had made commitment to myself that I will not join any department despite having huge offers and will continue to serve my Region, Islamabad, which provided me first breakthrough.”

He said like every other cricketer, he had his bad luck as well, as he got injured in 2016 and underwent treatment aboard and finally last year and now he had completely recovered from his back injury.

He said he has two offers in place to play cricket in UK like he had played for last decade or so and hopefully in next two to three months, I will be fully back and will give more than 100 percent.

Zohaib said he was just 32 and could yet make his way into the national team through his performances.

When asked whether he really thinks that being the nephew of most powerful PCB governing board member Shakil Shakih was a setback and it had negative impact on his career or it had benefited him, Zohaib replied: “Frankly speaking, Shakil had never ever interfered and we all cousins suffered badly as people level baseless allegations. The matter of the fact is records. Check the PCB website and decide whether I had ever taken any benefit for being Shakil Shakih’s nephew. The PCB had to change this dual policy and genuine talent must be provided equal, free and impartial opportunities. Selectors and captain have huge say. We don’t have anyone in the board who could raise voice for Islamabad players. I can name at least dozen players, who could have easily played for Pakistan. Imad Wasim had to wait for years and as soon as he was provided first chance, he proved his mettle. Same is the case with me and others, until and unless given chances, our efforts, hard work and records mean nothing. I feel genuine talent of twin cities face step-motherly treatment at the hands of the PCB and selectors.”

He said he was a fighter and he would continue to fight for his due right as he still has five golden years ahead of him. “I will shut my critics mouths with performances. I had played 83 first class matches, scored 2333 runs, while I played 63 list A matches and had scored 938 runs and 50 T20 matches and scored 541 runs. I took 161 wickets in first class, 33 in list A and 41 wickets in T20 domestic matches besides helping Islamabad win major titles and also helped PTV to get promotion from Grade-II to first class. Next domestic season will determine my claims and let me assure all, that I will prove my fitness in the first class and every given opportunity,” Zohaib concluded.