Pakistan’s new Twenty20 captain Babar Azam wanted to have senior players such as Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in the side for the Australia tour but the PCB officials shot down the suggestion.
Before the team’s departure, it has emerged that head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq had discussed the selection of players with Babar and both agreed on the selection of Hafeez and Malik.
But apparently some top officials in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) advised them not to pick them, throwing open a debate on how much authority was enjoyed by the head coach and the captain.
Asked if he was consulted for team selection, Babar said, “I had given my input for selection of the squad. I felt I required some seniors but it is decision of selectors.”
Babar recently said he wants to emulate captains like England’s Joe Root and India’s Virat Kohli but surprisingly the full video of his press conference on October 25 does not include those comments.
The video is available on the PCB’s official website.
Babar said though captaincy adds to pressure but with the support of his teammates, he was confident of handling it.
“I have belief in myself and my batting. Captaincy is a new responsibility and I will try to take everyone along and form a combination. It is clear that If players support you the team does well. So I want everyone to perform. I I will try to keep the environment of the dressing room healthy and positive. We must enjoy playing for Pakistan and not take pressure,” he said.
Babar reminded that he had captained Pakistan in the under-19 World Cup and has played in Australia before so he was aware of the conditions and pitches.
“It is a big challenge playing in Australia and beating them. The idea is to play fearless cricket and give them a good fight. Play aggressive cricket like they do.”
Meanwhile four franchises of the Pakistan Super League don’t want the national team’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq’s involvement in any capacity in the fifth edition of the T20 event next year.
In a recent meeting with the six franchises to finalise the categories of players for next month’s players draft, a Pakistan Cricket Board official was clearly told by at least four franchises that allowing Misbah to be part of the PSL would amount to conflict of interest.
“These franchises made it clear they don’t want Misbah to take part in the PSL in any capacity either as coach or director with any franchise as it would be a major conflict of interest,” a source said.
He said the franchises had noted that last year also when Inzamam-ul-Haq was chief selector they had ensured he was dropped from the committee that finalised players list for draft and later also had to call off his association with a franchise.
“One franchise owner made the point that the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani himself has said that he couldn’t remove Pakistan’s former head coach Mickey Arthur and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood from the support staff of a franchise as they had got permission to take part in the PSL from the previous PCB chairman,” the source said.
However, as per the agreement signed between Misbah and PCB, the former is entitled to work for any franchise during the PSL, but without any remuneration from the board.
Two franchises are said to be in negotiations with Misbah for the coming season to work as their coach or director.
The 5th PSL is scheduled to be held in February-March, 2020.