Latif shares his thoughts on the decision to snub Alam

Rashid Latif angry decision leave out Fawad Alam Test squad tours Ireland England Pakistan cricket

Rashid Latif: “How come Fawad has not been selected when Pakistan are in dire need of experienced guys to beef up the batting?”

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Former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif has lashed out at the selection committee for ignoring all-rounder Fawad Alam for the upcoming tours of Ireland and England.

Alam failed to make the cut, even though he has been one of the most consistent performers on the domestic circuit for the past few seasons.

In the past four seasons of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Alam has averaged 40.71, 55.54, 56 and 71.90.

“How come Fawad has not been selected when Pakistan are in dire need of experienced guys to beef up the batting?” Latif told Dawn. “The simultaneous retirements of Younis [Khan] and Misbah [ul-Haq] after the West Indies tour last year left a gaping hole in the Pakistan batting and which was brutally exposed by an under-strengthened Sri Lankan bowling line-up on the slow pitches of the UAE.

“My question to Inzamam is straightforward. Why was Fawad included in the pre-tour camp when he wasn’t in the [selectors’] radar for the three Test matches coming up in alien conditions? I’m perplexed by some of the selections made by Inzamam and company.

“Just imagine Fawad last played a Test in 2009 when he was a 23-year-old. I feel very sorry for him because before Inzamam took [over] as chief selector, the previous heads [of the national selection committee] Mohsin Khan, Mohammad Ilyas and Haroon Rashid all ignored his rightful claims to play for Pakistan at the highest level.

“It’s like handing a sentence to someone who has committed a heinous crime. Inzamam’s committee has done financial murder to Fawad given how much Test players are paid these days. His track record speaks for itself with those 27 centuries and 10,742 first-class runs.”

Latif also criticised the decision to include uncapped opener Fakhar Zaman in the Test team. Zaman has been a regular face in Pakistan’s limited overs squads, but Latif believes that the 28-year-old will struggle with the conditions in England.

“When Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam are two openers with Imam-ul-Haq as the third, what is the point of having Fakhar as the back-up [opener] when only three are sufficient,” he said. “The inclusion of a fourth opener is bad formation from the selection committee.

“And I just can’t understand that Inzamam has spoken about giving experience to the batsmen of playing in England as preparations for the World Cup next year. Out of the lot picked for this tour, how many of them will play at the World Cup?

“Because Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Sami Aslam surely won’t get picked in the [World Cup] squad and then I’m not sure whether Fakhar would be playing in the coming Tests, so where on earth does one make an illogical statement like Inzamam’s because Test, one-day and for that matter T20 are totally different formats.

“It seems surreal what the chief selector has uttered. It’s like beating about the bush because there is no sense in picking players just to give them experience.”

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