BY: | Waqas Jawaid Arain |
People say good things come to those who wait but this is neither accurate nor applicable in Fawad Alam’s case. He must wonder what he has done to be on the receiving end of such treatment from Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) selection committee.
A sixteen member squad for Pakistan’s tour of England and Ireland was announced today and as expected selection committee once again neglected most fittest player “Fawad Alam.”
Pakistan’s Mr. Consistent of domestic has scored at a staggering average of 55 since his debut in 2003. 32-year-old Fawad Alam has scored 10,742 runs in 145 first-class matches.
Fawad started his cricketing career at a young age of 17. There were early signs of his brilliance when he scored an unbeaten 43 in the semi-final against arch rivals India, helping Pakistan reach the final of U-19 World Cup which they went on to win. That innings cemented Alam’s reputation as a talented left-handed all-rounder, something Pakistan has agonizingly lacked since the days of Wasim Akram.
The real breakthrough for Fawad came in the 2006-07 season where he out-performed everyone in a local T20 tournament. Despite losing the final, Fawad went home with all the awards of the tournament; Man of the Final, Man of the Series, Best Batsman and Best Bowler award.
He was also fifth highest run-scorer in Quaid-e-Azam trophy and in shorter version of the game, he was the second highest run-scorer and highest wicket taker in the competition for Karachi Dolphins.
All of his performances were too overwhelming and he was deservedly called up for the international side.
Fawad has played three tests for Pakistan and also scored a brilliant knock of 168 runs on his second Test innings against Sri Lanka in 2009.
Fawad demonstrated his magnificence with the bat in 2014 when he was given a run in the Asia Cup. In his first ODI after four years, he scored a match saving 70-ball 74 during Pakistan’s chase of a daunting 326 against Bangladesh.
Despite his remarkable average of 69 runs in eight ODIs in 2014, he was dropped from the ICC World Cup 2015 squad. Fawad can be a suitable replacement for either of the retired duo of Misbah-ul-Haq or Younis Khan but unfortunately PCB’s nepotism still continue against him.
When we talk about merit, we talk about performances and statistics. Analyze both and you will realize that the claims of ‘merit base’ selection from PCB is utter nonsense.
It appears that the chief selector Inzamam ul Haq preferred his nephew ‘Imam ul Haq’ over him in the Test squad.
A look at players who were given preference over Fawad Alam:
Fawad was among the fittest cricketer in the fitness tests camp held at the National Cricket Academy for the cricketers ahead of the test tours, despite of it he was neglected.
Fawad Alam’s surname is not ul Haq, shaikh or Masood, so why PCB will select him? Selectors had only invited him in camp for face savings, as the player was not provided a kit in training camp.
You can tell when you’ve not been picked by your country for a while, your training kit is not the same as the other players. Keep going Fawad Alam, your day will come #Cricket pic.twitter.com/bxJSLKQBjG
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 12, 2018
Responding over his non-selection Fawad Alam said that, “It seems other players runs in domestic cricket are of a greater importance & more relevant to selectors. Maybe my domestic runs are being scored in Bangladesh, Kenya or elsewhere & not in Pakistan, so that’s why they are not important and are being ignored.”
Inzamam-ul-Haq is behind Fawad’s exclusion from team: Sethi
Last year when it was questioned from PCB chairman Najam Sethi about Fawad Alam’s exclusion he said that only chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq can answer questions about Fawad’s continuous non-selection.
Sethi said that it is not possible for him to force selectors to pick players in the team.
“Ask Inzamam about Fawad’s non-selection. I won’t recommend on his behalf, I can recommend him but I cannot force [the selectors],” said Sethi.
The character of Fawad Alam is front of everyone as we didn’t have seen him raising his voice on different platforms like our politicians does and chants slogans like “Mjhe Q Nikal.” Now it is reasonable and I am sure that if Fawad could score 15000 runs in domestic cricket still PCB will not select him.
Everyone knows that Fawad and Sarfraz are childhood friends but I will not blame here Captain Sarfraz Ahmed responsible for exclusion of Fawad Alam as he is not the only one to pick team. Chief Selector Inzimam-ul-Haq and Coach Mickey Auther doesn’t like him which is the main reason behind Fawad’s ditch.
No doubt Imam is a good player but Fawad is quite better than him. Imam scored century against Sri Lanka in UAE, the ground and pitch where every domestic player can easily score a hundred.
Fawad Alam’s exclusion has left Twitter users and sports journalists in Pakistan over searching for answers.
It was between Saad Ali and Fawad Alam.. Alam misses out https://t.co/CSerb03vtu
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) April 15, 2018
Pakistan has a multitude of social issues and problems.
Cricket selectors not picking Fawad Alam is the biggest.
Best FC ave in the country. Fittest guy at camp. Works hard. Great guy. Fills a middle order leadership void.
What are you doing Inzi? Mickey Arthur?
— Dennis Sutherland-Peever (@DennisCricket_) April 15, 2018
No place for Fawad Alam,what is the purpose of having domestic cricket when Pakistan cricket team is selected on likes and dislikes. https://t.co/1sJIcJs0Bv
— Mirza Iqbal Baig (@mirzaiqbal80) April 15, 2018
Everyone supporting Fawad Alam but unfortunately team management & selection committee do not respect left handed First Class performer’s consistent efforts.
— Syed Yahya Hussaini (@SYahyaHussaini) April 15, 2018
Four openers, including Imam ul Haq, picked for the tour comprised of just three Tests. Usman Salahuddin, Haris Sohail preferred over Fawad Alam, fail to understand what wrong Fawad has done.
— Faizan Lakhani (@faizanlakhani) April 15, 2018
Some body Explain me Imam Inclusion and Fawad Exclusion, Also Rahat and Amir inclusion and Wahab Exclusion.
— Abdul Ghaffar (@GhaffarDawnNews) April 15, 2018
Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair demands justice for Fawad Alam
Not selecting Fawad Alam yet again is being very unfair with the top batsmen. Thought justice will be done.
— Mohammad Zubair (@RealM_Zubair) April 15, 2018
History will remember these names
(8 fifties in 20 innings)
(Avg of 57 in fc, 168 on Test debut)
(358 wkts in just 75 games)
Sorry boys we don’t deserve you
You deserved better than this
— Shahzaib Ali (@DSBcricket) April 15, 2018
— Asad Hashim (@AsadHashim) April 15, 2018
This question continues to remain unanswered for millions of Pakistani cricket fans.
Where is Fawad Alam?
And I guess we will never know.
— Muhammad Faysal (@_Faysal) April 15, 2018
People trolling Chief Selector
Fawad Alam pic.twitter.com/CerlhdezN9
— Faiq Ahmd Sheikh (@faiqahmd) April 15, 2018
— Anas 🇵🇰 (@anas_typing) April 15, 2018
While most players would probably give up on their dream to represent their country had they gone through so much turbulence in their short careers, let’s hope Fawad Alam remains upbeat and optimistic and continues to fight for his place in a squad.