So the squads for the ODI and T20 series against South Africa have finally been announced, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but for the first time I’m actually almost completely satisfied with the selection they’ve made. How’d that happen? I guess the PCB selection committee might’ve read all my gazillion tweets about my unhappiness with their selection and decided to do right by me this time.
For those of you who aren’t already familiar with the squads (are you sure you’re a cricket fan?), here they are:
T20 Team: Muhammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Irfan, Ahmed Shehzad, Junaid Khan, Umar Amin, Zulfiqar Babar, Asad Ali
ODI Team: Misbah ul Haq, Muhammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Asad shafiq, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal, Muhammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Umar Gul, Imran Farhat, Abdur Rehman
My biggest shock was the selection of Shahid Afridi for the ODI squad after having been dropped recently. I’m EXTREMELY glad that the selectors decided to remember the numerous games he’s won for us through his batting (okay not so much now) and bowling. I know half the world will probably hate PCB for selecting him again after his recent letdowns, but I think it’s a really brave move, and a good one at that. You can’t treat a legend, who has dedicated more than half his life to playing cricket for your country and giving you uncountable cricket memories to cherish, by just dropping him and criticizing the hell out of him after a few bad matches. I mean every player has his bad day, but that doesn’t mean you negate the rest of his life because of that. Remember Shoaib Malik? He lost his form recently and given some time, he’s batting as well as ever. Our fans seriously need to stop treating the players like crap and cursing them for every minute little mistake they make. I’m sure all of you have a few bad days at work and aren’t always able to perform to your full potential?
Okay, slight distraction there (I always get emotional and defensive when people criticize players for no reason). Now, back to the squad discussion. My biggest disappointment? The selection of Imran Farhat, AGAIN! I mean seriously? How many more chances are you going to give this guy? The PCB selection committee is definitely aware that the whole world knows the only reason he keeps getting picked is due to his huge WASTA, so why degrade yourself and worsen your image even more by selecting him yet again? Why not think about our team’s future and give his spot to a youngster to groom him and give him some international experience, instead of wasting this space on a player who’s proven his uselessness on numerous occasions? Makes so much more sense! Anyway, I guess we’ll just have to wait for Farhat to retire, so that we can finally stop seeing his face.
I don’t really understand the inclusion of Wahab either. I mean they could’ve included some new bowler like Rahat Ali or Ehsan Adil who desperately need grooming. But then I remember those 5 wickets he took against India in that I-hope-I-can-forget-one-day World Cup semifinal, and I guess Wahab isn’t so bad.
Now all I hope is that the captains use these players well because this light is our only hope to win the ODI and T20 series after the dark tunnel of the three tests. Okay if not both, at least one of them so that there’s at least some part of this series that doesn’t depress me to death.