Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former wicketkeeper-batsman Rashid Latif has blasted the Pakistan selectors for ignoring in-form leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood for the upcoming limited overs series against Zimbabwe.
Latif’s comments come after Mahmood performed extremely well in the recently-concluded National T20 Cup.
Representing Southern Punjab, who lost to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the final, Mahmood finished with 12 wickets in nine matches at an average of 24.83 and an economy rate of 8.51.
Latif pointed out that instead of giving players like the 32-year-old a chance, the selectors seem to pick players from specific areas and overlook the rest.
“Zahid’s performance is speaking [for] itself. The bowler has potential and performance at the same time then why you are not selecting him,” Latif told PTV Sports as quoted by Ary Sports.
“If a player hails from Dadu and [plays for] Southern Punjab and he performs but [gets] neglected. At the same time, a player from KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) gets selected in the same scenario then the selection policy will come in a huge question mark. Anyone with [a] good understanding will realise the negligence of particular regions.
“If you select Zahid from Dadu, upcoming talent will get confidence there. You would have tried Bismillah Khan from Balochistan to engage a lot of youngsters. If you want to attract different regions towards cricket, you have to pick players from those areas.”
Pakistan’s series against Zimbabwe will consist of three ODIs and three T20 Internationals.
The ODIs will be held in Rawalpindi from October 30 to November 3, while the T20 Internationals have been moved from Multan to Lahore and will take place from November 7 to 10.
However, the T20 series could see a venue change once again as it may be shifted from Lahore to Rawalpindi due to smog.