There were speculations in some circles that Babar’s role in selection may diminish as Pakistan adopts a more data-centric approach
The Pakistan Cricket Board this week confirmed three appointments to the national men's selection committee, which will select senior, Shaheens and U19 sides.
The new selection committee comprises of Haroon Rasheed (chair), Hassan Cheema (selection committee secretary and manager analytics and team strategy for national men's side), Mickey Arthur (national men's team's director), and Grant Bradburn (national men's team's head coach).
There were speculations in some circles that skipper Babar Azam’s role in selection may diminish as Pakistan adopts a more data-centric approach. However, the Chief Selector, Haroon Rasheed, dismissed this notion while speaking to an Express News correspondent.
He emphasized that Babar Azam would continue to be an integral part of the selection process, with his opinion being given utmost importance.
"The captain will continue to be part of the selection process, and his opinion will be given utmost importance as usual. Now he can directly discuss selection matters with the head coach, who is with the team," Rasheed said.
Rasheed highlighted the significance of including a manager analytics and expert coaches in the new selection committee, stating that it would be instrumental in taking Pakistan cricket in a new direction. He specifically praised Hassan Cheema's appointment, emphasizing the benefits it would bring to the committee.
"Including manager analytics with expert coaches in the new selection committee will be helpful in taking Pakistan cricket in a new direction. Hassan Cheema’s appointment will benefit us," he said.
"People have a wrong perception when it comes to data, thinking it only consists of records of players and such. If that were the case, we could gather statistics ourselves from websites and other sources. It includes countless things, such as how a pitch behaves in the morning, what difference it makes after lunch, where fast bowlers can be successful, or which pitch can benefit spinners," he added.
Rasheed also shed light on the process of selecting the playing XI.
"When there is any tournament or series outside the country, the team management is responsible for the selection of playing XI. However, I will also keep in contact with them via WhatsApp. I will keep giving suggestions on matters like rotation policy or playing two spinners," he concluded.