Our Cricket Is On A Steady Decline: Rashid Latif
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Our Cricket Is On A Steady Decline: Rashid Latif

Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)
Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)

Rashid Latif, Pakistan’s former cricketer, in a Youtube video on Monday, claimed that ‘social media’ selections are hampering Pakistan cricket while the country’s steady decline continued in the world’s ranking.

The 52-year-old Rashid Latif pointed out various controversial selections while stating that winning on social media did not translate to real-life success on the ground.

Rashid Latif
Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube

Rashid Latif: Pakistan Have Won On Social Media But Team Has Gone To No. 7 Spot In World Rankings

White-ball vice-captain Shadab Khan and Mohammad Hafeez returned to the side after missing the South Africa series. Sharjeel Khan has made a comeback to the T20I squad four years after his 15th and last T20I match. Sharjeel Khan was the third-highest run-scorer in PSL with 200 runs to his name in 5 games at an astonishing strike-rate of 170.94. According to some experts, the batsman is not fit enough considering he weighs 112 kilos.

Imad Wasim PSL
Imad Wasim PSL. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“I had the chance to look at domestic cricket first-class matches. There was a bowler Irfan Ullah Shah from the KP side, he showed great movement on a flat Karachi track with the old ball. He couldn’t be part of the PSL either. All franchises have social media accounts of their own and they need to please all of them.”

“They have won on social media but our team has gone to the number seventh spot in the world rankings. We have to take this into account, we gain nothing from winning on social media. Everyone has kept their own people, players have their own people in the selection committee and the same goes for franchises. Our cricket is on a steady decline,” Rashid Latif said.

“I think Abdullah Shafique is a good player but it is too early. They gave a good run to Imran Butt. But we have to ask what Hussain Talat and Khushdil Shah did wrong. They went in to play such a lesser amount of deliveries and then got dropped. We feel there is a lot of likes and dislikes that are going around. The selection committee has five individuals and I think each brings in their own players. I have this doubt. Some might be from high-ranking officials in the PCB because we know all of them. We have been through this process,” Rashid Latif added.

Kamran Ghulam and Yasir Shah have been replaced by Shahnawaz Dahani and Zahid Mahmood. Imad Wasim failed to find a place in any of the squads announced for the tours. The spin-bowling all-rounder was overlooked for Mohammad Nawaz. Imad Wasim was also not a part of Pakistan’s T20I squad for the home series against South Africa last month.

Pakistan has dropped Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Zafar Gohar, Wahab Riaz, and Mohammad Musa in the ODIs from the Zimbabwe squad. Former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed has earned a recall for the upcoming series against the Proteas.

Along with him, Danish Aziz, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Nawaz, and Mohammad Wasim have been added to the ODI squad too. The Pakistan selectors have also dropped seven players from the T20I squad and have replaced them with five players.

Six players, including Shan Masood, Haris Sohail, and Imam-ul-Haq, from the recent New Zealand series, were axed as Pakistan’s new chief selector Muhammad Wasim on Friday announced a massively overhauled 20-member squad for the two-Test home series against South Africa.

Rashid Latif: Peshawar Zalmi’s Mohammad Imran Is Better  Than All Others And Couldn’t Create Hype

The former cricketer Rashid Latif believed Peshawar Zalmi’s Mohammad Imran would have been a better choice than most youngsters in the current squad but couldn’t make it into the side because he could not generate social media hype.

“This is an issue for the entire selection committee. Shadab Khan is a good player, we aren’t saying he isn’t. Whoever got selected, we think they are good. Then you have players like Abdullah Shafique, Shahnawaz Dhani, Wasim Jr, all these are new players. I however think Peshawar Zalmi’s Mohammad Imran had better returns than all of these new players.

“But he doesn’t ball above 140 kph and is more of a typical T20 bowler. He had many variations but bowled near 130 kph and couldn’t create hype for himself. Performance-wise however I think he had the best economic rate. He didn’t make it into the side,” Rashid Latif added.

Sharjeel Khan hasn't played for Pakistan since January 2017, during which he served a ban for his part in the PSL spot-fixing scandal  AFP via Getty Images
Sharjeel Khan. AFP via Getty Images

Sharjeel Khan’s PSL form has been rewarded with a recall to the national side for the first time in over four years, as he was included in Pakistan’s T20I squad for the tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe next month.

Shahnawaz Dhani, the Multan Sultans fast bowler who performed well during the PSL, was also called up for the Test series against Zimbabwe, with the chief selector saying that his performances during the tournament showed he could perform under pressure. Pakistan plays three ODIs and four T20Is against South Africa before moving to Zimbabwe, where they are scheduled to play two Test matches and three T20Is.