Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan pace bowler has lashed out at the national selectors as he believes that lack of faith in him was responsible for the fact that he wasn’t selected for the upcoming tour of England.
Gul has been in and out of the national team ever since he suffered a knee injury and underwent surgery in Australia in May 2013.
Even though he most recently represented Pakistan against New Zealand in January this year, the 32-year-old was not included in the preliminary squad for the England tour.
“Look, I’m not saying that they should play me,” Gul said. “But at least treat my case on the same level as of others. Usually, it’s not in my nature to speak out my mind. But when people start rating me as a discard then it hurts a lot. I have had fair share of injuries during my long international career. Just tell which fast bowler doesn’t get injured? This is part and parcel of cricket.
“However, some people [in the cricket board] make you a fool by jumping to the conclusion that [an] individual’s playing career at the international level is over. And what is more annoying is that when you confront them they’ll act as if nothing has happened and will try to be as supportive as they can but the same people will form different opinion behind your back.”
Gul also slammed the selectors for not picking him during the 2015 World Cup even though he met their fitness requirements.
“I was aghast when I found out that the parameter for fitness for the 2015 World Cup was set at 60 points,” he said. “And yet I was not good enough to be considered [for selection] despite recording 62 points. Somebody in the PCB must be honest enough to explain this double-standard policy.
“Now I realize that sometime just being fit is not enough to be inducted because the trust is not there. Being the senior-most fast bowler, there was no way they [selectors] could have sidelined me the way they did. They were not willing to trust me as a player. In the last season I had rediscovered my rhythm and felt extremely fit to reclaim my Pakistan spot, but the selectors still chose to ignore me.”
While chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq refused to comment on Gul’s remarks, national selector Tauseef Ahmed did not hold back.
“He shouldn’t be giving [a] statement, rather focusing on his cricket and keep on performing,” Ahmed told ESPNcricinfo. “Cricket season has just started and he shouldn’t be disheartened as there are a lot of series ahead and it’s not just about Umar Gul but every player who didn’t make into the Test side.
“You obviously can’t select everyone at once but we are completely aware about who is dropped and who is selected. Junaid Khan is the other bowler who was left out and he along with Umar was also in contention. But we have our reasons, which are not unfair, and the selected bunch was the best we could possibly pick according the the conditions and competition.
“It’s not just about being senior; its about what is the capability of a player and where he can fit in. Cricket is being played format-wise now, and it’s not like we have discarded him forever. Bowlers who are selected are good enough and have experience. We will make sure everyone gets a fair chance and we have a lot of cricket ahead and we will continue to monitor the performances of players.
“The problem is that we didn’t have much cricket in the recent past and most of our players are untested. So with a lot of cricket ahead we want to have as many players being tested out [as possible] and that is why we have brought new bowlers into the A team. Gul and Junaid might have missed out but they are still our asset and part of our country’s cricket. They should continue with their cricket and keep on performing in domestic cricket. One must talk with his performance in the ground and that should be a talking point. Journalists should be making noise for player rather than player himself.”