Usman Qadir acknowledged that only convincing performance can earn you a spot in the team and not friendships
Leg-spinner Usman Qadir clarifies that performance and skills are the ultimate factors that determine a player's place in the Pakistan squad, rather than personal relationships.
In an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan, Usman shed light on the dynamics of team selection. He asserted that his relationship with Babar Azam dates back to their early cricket trials at the under-15 level.
Contrary to assumptions, he highlighted that his inclusion was orchestrated by former captain and coach, Misbah-ul-Haq and not Babar.
"My relation with Babar is not from today - it's been since when we both gave trials for under-15. I only came into the team when Babar became the captain; however, that doesn't mean he took me into the team. The person who brought me into the team was Misbah-ul-Haq. I mentioned earlier, too, that Babar didn't get me into the team, and why would he? This isn't his team - it's Pakistan's team. Even Babar has acknowledged this himself," Usman said.
The 29-year-old admitted that Babar's friendship has sometimes brought added pressure rather than benefits.
"If the critique is around Babar's and my friendship, then I should never have been out of the team in the first place. In fact, Babar's friendship has caused me more harm than benefit because that has always added extra pressure on both of us equally," he further added.
Usman, who has only played 23 T20Is and one ODI, believes he hasn't been given consistent chances to prove himself as a better match performer for the national team. He last played for Pakistan against England on September 25th, 2022