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PCB not interested in long-term solutions - Aamer Sohail

Younis Khan announced his retirement after the first match of the ODI series against England.
Younis Khan announced his retirement after the first match of the ODI series against England.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail believes that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not interested in looking at long-term solutions to address problems with the team.

Citing the example of the selection of Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan for the Test and the One-Day International teams respectively, Sohail stated that the PCB was always looking at temporary fixes. 

The Pakistan selectors recalled Malik for the Test series against England and the 33-year-old responded with a fantastic double hundred in the first game.

However, Malik failed to recreate the form and managed to score just 47 runs from the remaining five innings and eventually announced his retirement.

Sohail believes that Malik retired from the Test arena as he understood that his recall was only a temporary measure from the selectors.

“Shoaib Malik’s decision to leave the Test arena was a little abrupt to say the least and the timing was also not ideal,” Sohail said in an exclusive interview with www.PakPassion.net

“However, as far as he is concerned, I think Shoaib Malik saw the writing on the wall and retired from Test cricket.

“He soon realized that he was just a temporary stop-gap measure.”

Questioning the move of the Pakistan selectors to include Malik, Sohail criticised the board for not investing in long term solutions for the team.

“We may have different opinions on Shoaib’s decision but what to say of the people who elevated him to the position of a Test player out of the blue?

“The problem with Pakistan cricket is that if they see a player available, they just want to somehow fit him in the Pakistan squad, regardless of his suitability.

“No one is really interested in long-term solutions, it’s all about here and now.

“They are happy to apply temporary fixes and keep things moving.”

The Pakistan selectors also recalled Younis for the ODI series, but the 37-year-old announced his retirement from the format, effective after the end of the first game.

Citing the example of the selection of Younis for the 2015 World Cup, Sohail reasoned that the PCB lacked the ability to plan for the future of Pakistan cricket.

“Take the example of Younis Khan.

“Undoubtedly, he’s had an illustrious career; he has and remains a great servant for Pakistan cricket and it was time to move on.

“He was shoe-horned into the ODI squad during the 2015 World Cup and asked to open the innings against India.

“Does anyone in their right mind believe that he had the technique to open the innings?

“Then you compound your blunder by having him in the ODI squad, presumably with the vision of having him in the squad for the 2017 Champions Trophy and the 2019 World Cup.

“Would he be able to survive on those pitches?

“What that shows me is an inability to plan ahead and therein lies the real problem with our cricket setup.” 

After the Test series win against England, Pakistan have ascended to the second spot in the International Cricket Council Test rankings.

Praising Misbah-ul-Haq’s role in Pakistan’s rise in the Test rankings, Sohail urged the 41-year-old to carry on until the tour of England before hanging up his boots as there is no suitable replacement.

“Misbah-ul-Haq has had an excellent career as captain of the Pakistan Test team.

“He took over the captaincy of the team at a point where things were looking very dicey for the team, especially due to the spot-fixing scandal.

“I really do believe that if he is fit and delivering, there should be no reason or calls for him to leave the team.

“But that isn’t the only reason why he should not think of retiring now.

“The fact is that Pakistan cricket does not have a replacement for the current captain at the moment nor has he groomed a successor who can go on an important tour of England and deliver.”

Pakistan are currently playing a four-match ODI series against England in the United Arab Emirates, which is currently level at 1-1 with two matches left to play.

© Cricket World 2015