Middle order batsman Misbah-ul-haq failed to make it to any of three squads for Pakistan tour to NZ. Announcing the teams on Thursday, chief selector Iqbal Qasim, flanked by PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and national coach Inthikab Alam, said that Misbah's omission was due too a rotation policy and that Misbah will be considered for the next series against the kangaroos.
Misbah's absence from all three teams came as a shock, as he had performed better than many players who have been given a chance in the squad. Even captain Younus Khan's performance was not as consistent.
The other highlight of the day was the inclusion of ignored openers Salman Butt and Imran Farhat. Qasim said that they both were senior openers and were available for the upcoming challenge.
Imran, who broke himself away from the rebel ICL to become eligible for national team, has gotten a golden opportunity to prove his mettle once again. As for Salman, he was not selected for the last ODI series against Srilanka and was also dropped from the ICC champions trophy squad. However, the chief selector expressed his satisfaction over Salman's current form in Quaid-E-Azam Trophy.
On Arafat's inclusion in test squad, Qasim said: "Yasir's performance in the last test match that he played was good and therefore he is selected." Perhaps the chief selector did not look at the stats clearly.
Yasir, since his inclusion in the Pakistan Cricket team in 2001, only played three test matches. In his last test match, against Srilanka in Lahore, Yasir gave away 106 runs for only one wicket; and in the test match before that, in Karachi, he gave away 90 runs before taking his two wickets.
Similarly, the selection of Rao Ifthikar (four matches, five wickets) to the T20i and ODI squads, as well as Rana Naveed (seven matches, nine wickets) and Abdul Razzaq (three ODIs, four wickets, 130 runs) is not at all justified.
1: One-day squad: Younis Khan (captain), Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt Imran Farhat, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Muhammad Aamer, Rao Iftikhar Anjum and Wahab Riaz.
2: Twenty20 squad: Shahid Afridi (captain), Khalid Latif, Imran Nazir, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Rana Naved, Umar Gul, Muhammad Aamer, Rao Iftikhar, Saeed Ajmal, Imran Farhat, Fawad Alam and Sohail Tanvir
3: Test squad: Younis Khan (captain), Salman Butt, Khurrum Manzoor, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik, Fawad Alam, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria, Saeed Ajmal, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Aamer, Abdul Rauf, Umar Akmal and Sarfraz Ahmed.