LAHORE – Pakistan on Sunday named four uncapped players, including the nephew of former captain and current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, in their test squad for the team’s upcoming tour of Ireland and England, ignoring left-handed Fawad Alam once again.
While the 32-year-old failed to make the squad again despite his strong domestic form, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chose three uncapped players Usman Salahuddin and Saad Ali, and Faheem Ashraf.
Another left-handed opener Imam-ul-Haq, who has played four-one-day internationals, scored a century on his debut against Sri Lanka last October.
Pakistan squad for the Test tour of Ireland and England:
Sarfraz Ahmed (C)
— PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) April 15, 2018
“The World Cup next year is in England. So we’ve decided to call up several young players to give them exposure to those conditions,” chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said at a press conference.
“This is a great opportunity for us, particularly our batsmen, to gain experience in this conditions.”
Following the announcement, cricket lovers and analysts took to social media to express their shock and displeasure.
No place for Fawad Alam,what is the purpose of having domestic cricket when Pakistan cricket team is selected on likes and dislikes. https://t.co/1sJIcJs0Bv
— Mirza Iqbal Baig (@mirzaiqbal80) April 15, 2018
Four openers, including Imam ul Haq, picked for the tour comprised of just three Tests. Usman Salahuddin, Haris Sohail preferred over Fawad Alam, fail to understand what wrong Fawad has done.
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) April 15, 2018
Pakistan have lost Misbah and Younis from the last time they toured England.
Fawad Alam averages 55 in FC cricket.
Can't even make the squad.
WTF is going on?
— Dennis Sutherland-Peever (@DennisCricket_) April 15, 2018
Inzi once again showed his biased against Fawad Alam. Injustice anywhere is a threat to Judstice everywhere.
— Mazhar Abbas (@MazharAbbasGEO) April 15, 2018
Why PCB constantly ignoring Fawad Alam? Alarming situation where is merit? He has scored 27 centuries & 57 half centuries. Overall 10 thousand plus runs in First Class Cricket. pic.twitter.com/XrHZLbSml2
— Raza Mehdi (@SyedRezaMehdi) April 15, 2018
Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq picked his own nephew in the team for the Ireland and UK tour
Chief Selector Inzamamul Haq didn't pick Fawad Alam – who has done brilliantly in domestic cricket for some time now
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) April 15, 2018
Fawad Alam "It seems other players runs in domestic cricket are of a greater importance & more relevant to selectors. Maybe my domestic runs are being scored in Bangladesh, Kenya or elsewhere & not in Pakistan, so that's why they are not important and are being ignored" #Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 15, 2018
‘Man of the moment’
Fawad Alam, son of Pakistan’s famous first-class cricketer Tariq Alam, is one among the many Pakistani openers who made promising starts but failed to kick on to the next level. He made an early start to his first class career at the young age of 17, and some good performances got him selected to Pakistan’s under 19 squad for the World Cup.
His biggest break came in the 2006-07 season where he came to the spotlight with excellent performances across formats. He scored heavily in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy and ended the tournament as the fifth highest scorer. In the T20 cup, he bagged various awards including Man of the Final, Man of the Series, Best Batsman and Best Bowler. A national call up was only a matter of time and it arrived after Pakistan’s early exit from the 2007 World Cup, where he was selected for the ODI series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. However, he had a forgettable debut as he was out for a first ball duck. Fawad was also selected for the World T20 Championship in 2007, but got only one game in the tournament.
He continued to be in and out of the side over the next two years, and finally got his Test call up in 2009. He celebrated it in style with a majestic century in the second innings against Sri Lanka. However, his 168 could not prevent Pakistan from losing the game and he had to share the Man of the Match award with Sri Lankan Nuwan Kulasekara. However, he got only 2 more games in the Test team and was dropped. He was picked again in the ODI squad in the series against South Africa in 2010, but was left out despite scores of 48 and 59* in the series. He was not selected in the Pakistan squad for the World Cup 2011.
Fawad came back with a bang to the ODI side after nearly four years. He was part of the Asia Cup 2014 in Bangladesh, he didn’t play the first two games but got his chance against the hosts and he played a match winning innings of 74, he then scored a brilliant hundred in the final but it went in vain as Sri Lanka went on to win the tournament. Pakistan will see this as the second home coming of Fawad as he can deliver with the ball and is also a good fielder.
Pakistan tours Ireland, England
Ireland will play their first-ever Test against Pakistan from May 11-15 in Dublin. Pakistan will then play two Tests against England — at Lord´s (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5). Pakistan will also play two Twenty20 internationals against Scotland on June 12 and 13, both at Edinburgh’s Grange Cricket Club Ground.
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Azhar Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Saad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Rahat Ali, Faheem Ashraf.