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Selection committee found Saad better than Fawad; I didn’t pick Imam, clarifies Inzamam

KARACHI: Chief Selector of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Inzamam-ul-Haq on Tuesday responded to the criticism that has followed Fawad Alam’s axing from England and Ireland tour.

Talking about Alam’s selection, the former skipper said the selection committee found Saad Ali better than Fawad.

He said, “Fawad Alam is an outstanding player but in the last three years there are others on the top of the list.”

“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,” he said.

He said Fawad was a good player and they obviously could not resist the charm of his career average; that is why he was brought into the camp, he added.

Inzimam further elaborated that during his tenure, he had given 12 to 14 players an opportunity and none of them had disappointed the nation. “If you look back in the past three seasons, there are players who have scored more runs than Fawad Alam,” he said spotlighting the recent updates.

“Dropping any player doesn’t mean we are disregarding them. It’s easy to pick players following scorecards or statistics, but there are many more things we take into consideration. I am not sure why Fawad wasn’t picked in the past before me but if you ask me about my tenure as a chief selector, I have seen better players,” he said.

Read More: Twitter explodes against Fawad’s exclusion from England tour

Alam was last picked in 2015 that played three Test matches against England. Despite Fawad’s consistently high batting average in the domestic circuit and second highest points in the fitness test among the 25 probable in the fitness camp, he once again could not make it to team.

The chief-selector said, “I am not taking away anything from Fawad, as he has scored a lot of runs in domestic cricket at a great average. When there is a competition, some players get left out, but that doesn’t mean their career ends there.”

“We haven’t ignored him. We have actually given an opportunity to a few others we thought were more suited to English conditions.

“Last season, we had tough bowling conditions in the QeA, and Saad Ali was a stand-out performer, and that is why he was preferred,” he said.

Inzamam said he had spoken to Fawad on many occasions and given him the confidence to keep on working hard.

“I know people are very critical about his non-selection but we need to see things in right perspective. People have expectations and they want to see their team win every game which brings a lot of responsibility on us. I have nothing against any player. We have a responsibility and what is important is that we do not fail it. We must select players on merit. I am lucky that most of my picks so far are paying off well, and we now have a bigger pool of players.”

The inclusion of Inzamam’s nephew in the squad who had a slightly bad average than Alam in the 2016-17 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he said it wasn’t an individual’s decision.

“Picking Imam is a tough decision but this is one decision I didn’t take,” Inzamam said clearing the air on the selection committee’s decision for which he was continuously being roasted on social media.

“People might be cynical about this but the head coach Mickey Arthur, batting coach Grant Flower and other selectors made the decision to select Imam. I was part of the discussion group, but I didn’t say anything about it. The report given by trainers and coaches about him showed a significant improvement in his skill and fitness levels. He was already in the system even before my becoming selector, so associating me shouldn’t be a point of discussion.”

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