LAHORE: Declaring merit to be his only standard in selecting players, newly installed chief selector Moin Khan has said that he has been assigned to concentrate on building a formidable bunch of cricketers for the 2015 World Cup. Former Test captain Moin was handed the dual role of Pakistan's team manager and chief selector last month. The 42-year-old served as head coach in the recent Asia Cup and World Twenty20 tournaments. It is the first time the board has handed the two roles to the same individual. Former wicketkeeper-batsman Moin, who played 69 Tests and 219 one-day internationals, was appointed chief selector last year but was not allowed to take up the position due to a court order. “It is a big honour and a challenge. I will be under the spotlight,” he added.
Moin, a member of the 1992 World Cup-winning team, said he would soon share his plans for the team with the media. Moin said he had no political affiliation and would work only for the betterment of Pakistan cricket. “I will take full responsibility for any defeat suffered by the team,” he added. Responding to a question on handling the prickly subject of tussle between chief selector and team management that had continued to disturb Pakistan cricket over the years, Moin insisted unidirectional approach was the key in this regard. “I believe we all have to work for the betterment of Pakistan cricket. And if we intend to move together in the right direction to achieve our destination, we have to be on the same wavelength,” he maintained.
The five members of the selection committee who will work under Moin are former Test players Saleem Yousuf, Wajatullah Wasti, Mohammad Akram, Shoaib Mohammad and Ijaz Ahmad. Wasti has been working as head coach of departmental team ZTBL while Yousaf has been working in the Pakistan Customs on an executive post. Shoaib was the fielding coach with Pakistan during the Asia Cup and World T20 and has been brought in to work as a selector while Ijaz is NCA’s fielding coach. For Yousaf and Shoaib, this is their second stint as a selector having been involved in 2003 when the committee was headed by Aamir Sohail. Wasti, who last played for Pakistan in 2000, has been coaching on the domestic circuit since he retired from playing in 2010.
Selector Saleem Yousaf said that Moin and his team would select players having great potential. To a query, Saleem categorically rejected the impression about his specific support for players belonging to any particular city or region. “We are Pakistan selection committee and don’t believe in quota system. Merit is the only criterion for us and we will not hesitate to pick even all the 11 players from one city if they meet the merit requirements,” he maintained. Saleem said the selection committee would adopt the policy of giving consistent chances to a promising-looking player to prove his skills, before a decision was taken about his fate. The selection committee's first assignment will be to pick the squad for the Sri Lanka tour in August this year.
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