The former Pakistan captain wasn’t too pleased with Shahid Afridi-led selection committee’s key decision for the Test squad.
Last month, Ramiz Raja was fired as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), and Najam Sethi was appointed to lead a 14-member managing committee. In addition, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was named interim chief selector, with ex-players Abdul Razzaq and Rao Iftikhar Anjum joining him on the panel. Following his appointment, the selection committee made an unusual decision for Pakistan’s Test squad in the ongoing series against New Zealand.
Afridi announced the addition of three youngsters to the squad – all-rounder Arafat Minhas, top-order batter Basit Ali, and right-arm fast bowler Mohammad Zeeshan – who had performed well in Pakistan’s age-group T20 league, Pakistan Junior League, which was recently scrapped by Najam Sethi. Many people were surprised by the addition of the players, even though Afridi confirmed that the youngsters would not play.
“Although the three players will not be available for selection, this initiative will accelerate their development and provide them with a better awareness, understanding, and knowledge of the rigours and demands of top-level cricket,” he said.
Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt was also dissatisfied with the move, and as the BCCI ruled on Sunday that emerging players must have substantial domestic cricket experience before being considered for national team selection, Butt slammed the PCB for rushing youngsters into the Test team.
“According to the BCCI, in the emerging category, you must have substantial domestic experience. But what happens in this case? You will be accepted into the team via PJL. That was the attitude. Even now, you are sending boys from PJL to the Pakistan’s dressing room for ‘experience’. Remember that Pakistan’s Test match dressing room is the right of a first-class performer; it has nothing to do with T20 performance at any age group. “You should look into that,” Butt said on his official YouTube channel.