Malik wants bigger say in selection

The Pakistan captain had been unhappy about his team combination in the Asia Cup. He feels his side would be under pressure playing the CT at home.

updated: July 30, 2008 16:27 IST
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Expressing dissatisfaction over the way Pakistan Cricket Board's selection panel work, skipper Shoaib Malik said he wants to have a say in the final selection of the team.

"The composition of the final eleven is discussed with selectors, myself and the coach try to convince the selectors but the final decision rests with them and it is also mentioned in the players central contract," Malik said.

According to sources, Malik had asked for more powers in selection matters leading to a heated discussion with the selectors and some Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and governing body officials at the recent meeting held to review the performance of the team in the Asia Cup.

Malik was apparently upset over the exclusion of the wicketkeeper batsman Kamran Akmal from the Asia Cup squad.

"Six teams in the world have wicketkeepers opening their batting in one-dayers. Kamran has scored more centuries than any other keeper in Pakistan's history and I believe his elevation as opener gave us depth in batting or bowling.

"Nasir Jamshed and Salman Butt are doing great job now and team combination is excellent but the decision taken to use Kamran as an opener was combined and we try to follow a plan and get inputs from senior players," he said.

Malik, however, avoided commenting on senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf's decision not to make himself available for the Champions Trophy because of his religious commitments.

"As far as Yousuf is concerned this matter goes to the Pakistan board and they will look into it. They will decide what to do. My job is to organise good cricket and training for the players," Malik said.

On the comeback of Shoaib Akhtar, Malik said he had always maintained that if the pacer was 100 percent fit he could play for any team.

Pakistan captain also refuted claims that he was not contributing enough in the team's performance.

"If I am not a good bowler than how do you think I have dismissed players like Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Shiv Chanderpaul or Jacques Kallis. You are saying I don't bowl in important matches then how can I get the best all-rounder in the world ranking from the ICC?" he questioned.

Malik said a loss doesn't mean the end of the world for a team or for an individual.

"There is no player in the world who can give consistent performances on daily basis. The team's performance batting or bowling is also subject to luck. But fielding is something we can improve and these days every match you get scores of 300 or more where fielding makes a lot of difference."

Malik admitted his team would be under pressure in the Champions Trophy, which Pakistan would be hosting in September.

"Eight teams will try to win the tournament and on subcontinent pitches if your batsmen click and the fielding is very good, that team will likely win.

But I am sure despite the pressure we will do well in the Champions Trophy," he said.