On Sunday afternoon, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced its 16-member squad that would be touring Ireland and England and once again, Fawad Alam’s name was missing from the list.
According to eyewitnesses, Alam, who has continuously been ignored by the PCB, broke down into tears after he found out that, despite his promising performance in the domestic cricket, he had once again been ignored in the favor of younger and newer batsman. Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed who had gone into the room to comfort Alam could not hold back his tears either.
In 2014 fast bowler Wahab Riaz had been in an almost the same situation when coach Waqar Younis had dropped him from Pakistan’s tour of Zimbabwe.
Talking to media after the announcement of the squad, coach Mickey Arthur said that it would be wrong to assume that he had something against Riaz and Alam. The decision might feel too harsh at the moment, but some decisions are made so that they can prove to be helpful in the long run. He also said that the door of cricket has not been shut on the two players and neither have their careers been halted. “We will definitely look into the selection of the two for the next series.” he had said.
According to sources, there is hope in the future for Alam in finding a place in the national team.
At the end of the training camp, Fawad had been told not to be disappointed. However, criticism from former cricketers and media have put the PCB on the back foot.
It should be noted that coach Arthur seems to play an important part in the selection of players for the national team. Under his coaching, Pakistan has gained the top position in the T20 ranking.
The non-selection of Alam has also been a topic of discussion by the standing committee in the National Assembly. According to high-level sources, Alam was close to being selected for the national squad. However, Arthur picked Imam-ul-Haq as the fourth opener, shutting down the case of Alam.
Sarfaraz had also pressurised for including Alam in the team, but Arthur and the selectors already had made up their minds about Imam and then Saad Ali. Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq has also defended his position.
Fawad Alam is an outstanding player but in the last three years there are others at the top of the list
Inzamam said in an interview to media
“We got him here in the nets but we found Saad Ali to be better, and the decision to prefer Saad was unanimous, with input from all the coaching staff and captain.
“Fawad is a good player and we obviously can’t ignore his career average; that is why he was brought into the camp. During my tenure, I have given 12 to 14 players an opportunity and none of them have disappointed us. If you look back in the past three seasons, there are players who have scored more runs than Fawad Alam.”
Fingers have also been pointed about Riaz not being picked for the series. Some have pointed out that, Wahab’s recent behaviour might be the reason behind Arthur’s decision to not pick the fast bowler.
According to Arthur, he doesn’t understand how a bowler who has not been able to win any match for Pakistan in the last two years be carefully thought about. However, it should be noted that Wahab Riaz is one of Pakistan’s most successful bowlers with 66 wickets in his 19 test matches.