Tuesday Aug 20, 2019 | By: Web Desk
Pakistan’s former bowling coach Azhar Mahmood has claimed that Mickey Arthur was the dominating figure when it came to picking the national squad, even overshadowing chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, Dawn reported on Tuesday.
Mahmood, who was a part of Arthur’s staff until denied a contract extension earlier this month, said that as the bowling coach he had no say whatsoever in selection matters.
“Throughout my tenure I raised this matter to PCB officials that as bowling coach I must have a say in selection matters as I had a better idea about every bowler but it didn’t happen,” he told Abdul Ghaffar during Dawn News programme Replay.
“After the Champions Trophy victory, Arthur became more powerful and he took all the major decisions along chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq and captain Sarfraz but Mickey was dominating.”
Mahmood expressed his disappointment at the fact that the Pakistan Cricket Board’s cricket committee only heard Arthur during its review of the team’s performances. He said that neither him, nor batting coach Grant Flower were given a chance to tell their sides of the story.
“PCB and its cricket committee just invited Mickey Arthur from the entire coaching staff but did not give us (Azhar and Flower) a chance to clarify and answer about my own department,” he said.
The former all-rounder said he was satisfied with his own performance, adding that “when I joined, most of the bowlers were inexperienced and I worked very hard with them. Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Shinwari and Shaheen — all came as newcomers during my time and they worked hard and produced good performances.”
Mahmood also acknowledged that picking rookie speedster Mohammad Hasnain over the experienced Usman Shinwari in the World Cup 2019 squad was a “mistake and injustice”.
“Dropping Usman Shinwari was a mistake and injustice. Selectors rated Hasnain because of his pace but in my opinion there was not much difference between Shinwari and Hasnain’s pace. More importantly, Shinwari was in form and had taken wickets in limited overs cricket before the World Cup,” he added.
He rated Hasnain as “a good prospect”, but said that the selectors’ habit of prematurely inducting youngsters, only to also discard them prematurely was worrisome.
“Although I worked hard with him but see they didn’t offer him the central contract or invited him for the pre season camp so I think we should make a proper system where we pick and groom players instead pick and later forget them,” he said.