After the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the squads for the tour of South Africa and Zimbabwe, wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal blasted the board and asked skipper Babar Azam to involve himself more in the selection process.
The PCB had made a wholesale of changes in the white-ball squads – 7 players dropped from both ODI and T20I squads – that will take on South Africa for 3 ODIs and 4 T20Is before travelling to Zimbabwe for a 3-match T20I series and a 2-match Test series.
Kamran Akmal, who last featured in the national side 4 years ago, believes that other captains such as Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Joe Root have a lot more say in their team composition than Babar Azam has in the selection of the Pakistan side. Akmal urges Babar to be more assertive and demand the players he wants, instead of the selectors and the board making decisions.
In his Youtube video, Kamran Akmal said, “I think the captain has the biggest role. He must insist on the players he wants. All successful teams have a captain deciding the players and creating a team filled with match-winners. Look at England, India, and New Zealand. They are great captains and they have made great teams. The responsibility lies with Babar Azam,” Kamran Akmal said.
“If Babar doesn’t tell them then it could hurt his own focus and performances. That is why I think it is Babar’s responsibility. He is not a kid anymore. He is experienced and is a top-class player. The PCB has given him complete authority. He should utilise that authority. If he relies on these individuals then our cricket might not be headed towards betterment,” he added.
They can’t just put a laptop in front and show stats: Kamran Akmal
While announcing the squads in the press conference, Chief Selector Muhammad Waseem showed the stats of the players who were excluded and included in order to justify the selections. Kamran Akmal, who played for Peshawar Zalmi in PSL 2021, continued to slam Waseem saying that players should be picked by actually observing them in the nets, not by putting a ‘laptop in front’.
“You can’t just pick players for the Test format from those who perform well in T20Is. This is how it is going right now. This is causing damage to Pakistan cricket. The PCB should put more thought into how they select players for the national side. They should think about the process and policy of selection. They can’t just put a laptop in front and show stats.
“What is the vision and policy of the individuals selecting the players? This is what is happening. They are looking at players bowling in the nets. If somebody bowls one good spell in four matches then you say he has done really well. We have to rectify all of these issues,” the 39-year-old further asserted.