Baig flays growing nepotism in Pak cricket team
ISLAMABAD: Former member Senate Standing Committee on Sports, Enver Baig was critical of growing nepotism and favouritism in the Pakistan cricket team selection matters, saying Imamul Haq never qualified to become a member of Test squad.
Talking to The News, he said he was surprised to see chief selector Inzamamul Haq nephew getting Test call despite a poor first class average of around 28 per innings at that time. “Even more surprising is the fact that now when he failed miserably during the series against New Zealand, he has been retained for the tough and demanding series against South Africa. If he is not getting runs on relatively easy wickets of UAE how he would do well in South Africa. Even at the first place he never has got the ability against formidable attack.”
One of the vocal members of the Senate Committee during his tenure, Enver Baig questioned the selection criteria. “If you are to select players on nepotism and on your whims and wishes, there is no need to organize first class cricket then. How many batsmen get a chance to represent the country with such a poor first class average as Imam at the time of his selection on the Test team had? Even now his first class average is poor to a standard of an upfront batsman.” Enver Baig said that PCB chairman Ehsan Mani must come forward and underline the criteria followed for team selection. “At one hand there are batsmen who have been scoring heavily in domestic cricket for years and years without catching selectors eye. At other just mediocre player gets a chance to play for the country. Why the system has been so cruel on the talented ones,” he questioned.
Senator Enver Baig also wanted PCB to reassess head coach Mickey Arthur’s contributions and utility for the team. “It was for the fifth time in recent past that Pakistan batting line up collapsed chasing a low total. If a batting line up of a top Test playing country cannot survive for a day on a normal pitch, it means that there has been something seriously wrong with the coaching and mental strength of players”. “Coach Mickey Arthur has taken no steps to improve batsmen technique and mental ability to tackle opposition under demanding situation. Top batsmen continue to be fragile and nervy in such situation. I think today top batsmen are more suspect than they were ever before. So what Arthur has contributed to the cause? He looks good for nothing. He should have inculcated maturity into the team had he been a professional coach and knew his job well.” Enver Baig called for thorough analyzing the whole situation. “We are not producing good Test batsmen. There are problems in the system. Talented players don’t get chance until they have backing and support. First class system should be the one that could throw the talent upfront.”