Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why the Delay?

The Pakistan selection committee is supposed to convene tomorrow (Monday) with other senior officials of the PCB before announcing the 30 probables for the Champions Trophy.

No where else will you find such hoopla over the list of probables for a tournament. Not even the final squad of 15, but a list of probables.

Considering that the final 15 can be chosen from outside the 30 probables, it truly is mindboggling witnessing this whole facade.

Local newspapers have mentioned a number of reasons as to why the announcement, which didn't meet the ICC deadline of 11th July, has been delayed.

The fact that the list of 30 probables provided by the selection committee was rejected by the PCB is true but the reasons being given by the PCB officials as to why it was rejected are pointless to say the least.

Here' why.

Reason 1: Shoaib Akhtar's Fine.

We all know that Shoaib Akhtar was banned for 5 years, which got reduced to 18 months, and was fined Rs 7 million.

The Lahore High Court suspended Shoaib's ban pending a decision, which led the selectors to include him in the list of probables.

Chief Selector Sallu sahab has confirmed publicly that Nasim Ashraf's approval was attained before including Shoaib's name in the list.

News reports though mention that some Board officials rejected Shoaib's inclusion on the basis that he has not yet cleared the fine of Rs. 7 million.

This is intriguing to me as in the past all fines imposed on players have been deducted from their match fees / contract retainers / other fees paid by the board.

Furthermore, Shoaib's lawyer has claimed that the PCB never asked Shoaib to pay the fine.

Now you see why I say this reason is pointless.

Reason 2: Non-contracted players in the 30.

Another reason being given is that the 30 probables were rejected because it included non-contracted players, including Shoaib Akhtar.

The news reports claim that in order to include players in a squad, who are not contracted to the PCB, the selectors need to get an approval from some committee.

What BS! There was never any approval required for players like Nasir Jamshed, Sohail Khan, Abdur Rauf, Saeed Ajmal - all non-contracted players.

And even if an approval was required, why was it not attained before the deadline?

Surely this is not a reason to delay the announcement - and that too of a preliminary list of 30, not even that of a final 15 man touring squad.

So what is really keeping the squad from being made public?

There was a news report 3 days ago, a day before the 30 probables were to be announced, that stated that some senior officials of the PCB were lobbying to replace Shoaib Malik as captain.

From what I have heard, it is not only the senior officials of the PCB but also some players, both senior and junior, who have combined to place this pressure on Nasim Ashraf, who is the only one supporting Malik currently.

If you want to know why Nasim Ahraf is supporting Malik, the leash is the answer to that.

The selectors are also of the view that its time for Malik to go, which resulted in them handing over a list of 30 probables without naming a captain.

Obviously Nasim Ashraf then did not let the list be announced.

Now this could all be rumours, but I have reason to believe that besides the official meeting of the selectors and the PCB officials tomorrow morning, there have been a number of unofficial meetings in the last 2 days to decide the fate of Malik.

Why this has not appeared in the media is anybody's guess.

If history is to be looked at, Nasim Ahraf will get his way yet again.

The leash will come into play yet again.

We will all find out tomorrow the fate of Malik.

Don't be surprisedto see him not listed as captain when the list of 30 is made public, or with the announcement that the captain will be announced at the time of finalizing the 15-man squad.

And despite this whole drama around Shoaib Akhtar being non-contracted and non-payment of fine, he will defnitely be a part of the 30.

Till tomorrow then.

Make your pitch on this post...

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2 Pitched:

  1. khansahab said...

    Very interesting article, Q.

    I am somewhat surprised that you say there is a chance Malik might be removed. I would have thought if this is a possibility, there would be reports emanating from the media. We always hear of player power and players calling for the axing of the captain, but apart from general rumours, is there anything more substantial?

  2. Q said...

    Nothing more substantial Khansahab... this is talk doing the rounds among people in Pakistan.. It could all be rumour / hearsay but usually whenever I hear something like these from the people I mention, it turns out to be true...

    We can all wait and see..

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