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LAHORE: Pakistan chief selector Mohammad Wasim has responded to former paceman Shoaib Akhtar’s ‘puppet’ jab following the much-criticized T20 World Cup squad selection.
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Mohammad Wasim revealed he doesn’t gel with Shoaib Akhtar the way he used to. Wasim highlighted that while he respects Akhtar’s views, he thinks the 46-year old was not right.
“Shoaib Akhtar is a very good friend and we spend a lot of time together. We used to do shows together but now we don’t interact in the same manner. Cricketers and analysts have their own point of view but that doesn’t mean that they are right all the time,” said Wasim.
Wasim also denied claims that new PCB chairman Ramiz Raja has had an overwhelming influence on the team selection. “The role of chief selector is always a pressure job, no matter who is the chairman. I have not felt any pressure since his [Ramiz Raja] appointment,” he added.
“Every new chairman brings a new direction with him and Ramiz also gave us a clear message, to the team and us, in this regard. Following that direction and policies is part of our job. As far as the future is concerned, that is something we both can’t predict,” he added.
Wasim is hopeful that the Pakistan squad will perform well against New Zealand and England at home, followed by the T20 World Cup in the UAE. “We have selected the best possible squad and I’m very hopeful that this team will put up a good show in the upcoming series as well as the T20 World Cup,” he concluded.
Akhtar’s stern remarks came after he was left unhappy with the squad named by Wasim for the upcoming T20 World Cup. “The Pakistan squad for T20 World Cup will be changed. Mohammad Wasim is not a chief selector, he is just a puppet,” said Akhtar.
Pakistan, captained by Babar Azam, will open their T20 World Cup campaign against India in Dubai on the 24th of October. They have been clubbed in Group 2 with India, Afghanistan, New Zealand and two teams who will come through the qualifying round.