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‘Enraged’ Raja slams ‘selfish’ selection for Bangladesh T20I series

Former cricketer believes the selection committee overlooked long term goals with their recent selection

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja has criticised the Pakistan selection committee for employing a safe approach by bringing veteran all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez back in to Men in Green’s Twenty20 International (T20I) squad set to face Bangladesh in the upcoming series.

While speaking in a Youtube video, the famous commentator said that the selection committee overlooked long term goals with their recent selection.

“I am very angry since I have read Pakistan’s T20I squad for Bangladesh series,” said Raja.  “Selection has not been done based on long term goals. Selectors have made it clear that they can’t bear any more losses. This is why they have selected Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, who are past their prime. How long can Pakistan cricket go if you are scared of losing and sacrifice long term goals because of your selfish motives?”

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The 57-year-old also believes that the focus should have been on trying youngsters in a home T20I series.

“The rationale given by selectors is that this duo of 38-year-olds will win us matches with their experience. Then you should have taken them to Australia for T20Is instead of exposing youngsters on a tough tour,” he said. “You should always play youngsters in T20s in a home series. You are scared of losing against Bangladesh as well, which is why you have gone in safe mode. And these two players will save us who have already played their best cricket for Pakistan.”

“I don’t have any personal grudge against Malik and Hafeez. They have served Pakistan very well for a long time. But they are at such an age, that they can’t contribute much,” he added.