The neglected ones

December 8, 2019

Players who deserve to play for Pakistan on the basis of their prolific showing on the domestic cricket circuit

Pakistan’s progress has been badly affected by favouritism and discrimination in all fields of life. And prominent sports like cricket, hockey, and football are no exception. There are many cricketers who have performed at the domestic level, pilling up runs or notching up wickets season after season, but sadly never got on the radar of the selectors. Here I would like to mention some neglected players who have been performing for a decade and have also performed well in the on-going Quaid-e-Azam trophy but are being neglected.

Fawad Alam Khan

When we talk about the unlucky players the first name which clicks our mind is this man who has been amassing runs for a decade but continues to be neglected. His non-selection despite an average of 56.84 and 34 hundreds has exposed the selectors’ image, be it Inzamam ul Haq or Misbah ul Haq.

Finally after Pakistan’s hammering in Australia there is talk of him being selected for the Tests against Sri Lanka as he has once again notched up more than 700 runs, including a double hundred. We hope that Misbah, the most powerful man in Pakistan cricket right now, gives this deserving guy a chance.

Tabish Khan

In the list of mistreated bowlers the name of Tabish Khan stands out who is 34 years old and has an astonishing 568 wickets at an average of 23.90. Isn’t it unjust that bowlers like Naseem Shah and Musa Khan have played Test cricket for Pakistan with even less than 10 first-class matches but this man has not.

He has every ability that a world class bowler should possess — action, accuracy, speed and run-up. He can rip apart any batting line and has done so in first-class cricket. But he has been only selected for Pakistan ‘A’ side. The selectors have never considered him for the national side and this time around as well there seems to be no hope for this man.

Nauman Ali

The left-arm spinner Nauman Ali who is 33 years old has also been performing superbly, pocketing 222 wickets at an average of 23.49. This season he has showed a lot of guile and skill as an orthodox bowler, topping the list with 46 wickets for Northern in high-scoring matches. Though the first-class cricket has been dominated by fast bowlers, this season with the changes in structure and wickets he got long spells to bowl and has showed his class. He can be a great asset as Yasir Shah’s partner but once again it looks like that his name will be thrown into a bin.

Sadaf Hussain

Another promising left-arm fast bowler who has been exceptionally well both in first-class and List A since making his debut in 2010. He has taken 409 wickets in 93 first-class matches at an average of 19.70 and 139 wickets in 68 matches in List A cricket. He was considered only once for national duty — in 2011 for the West Indies tour. We can only hope that the selectors pick him in place of Amir.

There are some cricketers who have performed well in domestic one-day and T20 tournaments, but never got selected.

Bismillah is an attacking, young wicket-keeper batsman. He performed well in the recent National T20 Cup.

Ammad Butt is also a very talented all-rounder. He showed glimpses of his talent when he scored 18 runs in the last over of the semi-final in the National T20 cup in front of a packed house to take his team to the final.

Zahid Mahmood is a very good performer in T20 cricket as a leg-spinner with 35 wickets in 24 matches at an average of 15.60.

The neglected ones: Players who deserve to be in the Pakistan national team