ISLAMABAD - Former Test player Basit Ali described Saeed Ajmal as honest and fair persons and lauded his decision of taking time before undergoing test for his suspected bowling action.

Talking to The Nation, Basit said: “It was indeed a very great gesture by Saeed, who speaks truth rather than hiding facts. I have witnessed such courage and truth in very few players. Younus Khan is one of them who always present real and actual picture, and I don't think Pakistan team will miss Ajmal’s services. The matter of the fact is that Pakistan team was already playing without him and bowlers in his absence did a fantastic job.”

He said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) must take bold decisions and must pick surprise package, who could pose real threat to the opponents, rather than taking the announced squad. “Pakistan can change the initial 30 players list provided to International Cricket Council (ICC). I will strongly recommend the names of M Sami and another brilliant lad wicketkeeper batsman M Rizwan, who has long been ignored. He is a brilliant behind the stumps and bat as well and has scored some useful runs. Same is the case with Sami, as he is the fastest bowler of the country, and his pace can prove lethal for the opponents and fast and seaming tracks of Australia and New Zealand will best suit to Sami. If I were the selector, I select both Sami and Rizwan without any wasting time, as it will give Pakistan team a new dimension and help it score crucial victories.”

“I strongly believe the PCB chief selector must adopt bold and wise policy, rather than relying on same players. Some new and fresh faces should be the part of the world-cup bound squad,” he added.

When asked who should be included in the side to strengthen middle order, Basit replied: “I will prefer stylish and time-tested Asad Shafiq and Sohaib Maqsood in the middle order, while Umar Akmal should be given rest, as he is not performing well at international as well as domestic circuit.”

When this scribe drew Basit's attention towards Asad's poor run with the bat, Basit replied: “Though it is, yet Asad is a very experienced and technically sound batsman. He will be ideal for the green caps and will provide much-needed depth in the middle order. Asad has scored runs and will return to form. I will also Sohaib Maqsood to strengthen the middle order, and he can play both aggressive and defensive type. His fitness will be asses in the Pentangular Cup starting in Karachi. If he proves his fitness, he should be very much part of the world-cup bound squad.”

“Pakistan should utilize Yasir Shah’s services accordingly, just like Sohail Tanvir learnt a lot while playing in Indian Premier League and became a valuable bowler. Yasir needs time and matches, as he is a great talent, and he can fill the gap left by Saeed Ajmal. Zulfiqar Babar can also help green caps a great deal in Australian conditions. Pakistan team needs such players to stand bright chances of lifting the mega event,” Basit concluded.