PCB struggling to appoint new chief selector with top candidate Akram backing out

Former pacer Muhammad Akram was the top candidate for the chief selector’s post but he has reportedly backed out demanding the board returns to the old system of selection.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)

Muhammad Akram wanted PCB to take his input while appointing other members of the selection committee.   -  Twitter/@TheRealPCB

The Pakistan Cricket Board is finding it difficult to appoint a new chief selector after its top candidate backed out of working under the current system of selection in the country.

A well-placed source told PTI that former pacer Muhammad Akram was the top candidate for the chief selector’s post but he has backed out demanding the board returns to the old system of selection.

Under the old system, the board used to appoint an independent three to five-member national selection committee headed by a chief selector which picked the teams and had them approved by the Chairman of the board.

Under the new system implemented in October 2019, the national team’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq was also the chief selector and the other members of his committee were the head coaches of the six provincial teams taking part in first-class competition in domestic cricket.

“Akram made it clear he didn’t want to work either under the present system of selection or with the head coaches of provincial teams,” the source said.

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“He made it clear to the board if they wanted to make him chief selector they will have to revert back to the old system of having an independent national selection committee.”

Misbah stepped down as chief selector recently saying he wanted to focus on his job as head coach and was finding it difficult to give time to both responsibilities.

His last assignment as chief selector was to pick the touring squad for New Zealand and the board said it would be announcing a new chief selector soon.

Akram, 46, has played 9 Tests and 23 ODIs for Pakistan and also represented several English counties like Sussex, Surrey, Essex, and Northants in his first-class career. He is also the head coach/Director of the Peshawar Zalmi franchise in the Pakistan Super League.

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The source said that Akram also wanted the board to take his input while appointing other members of the selection committee.

Former Test players including Basit Ali, Muhammad Wasim, Abdul Razzaq, Faisal Iqbal are currently among the head coaches managing the provincial teams in domestic cricket.

According to the source, with news coming through that former captain Rashid Latif had been released by the Pakistan Television Corporation from his job as ambassador, host, and analyst, he could now be a prime candidate for the post.

Rashid in the past was also offered the chance to become chief selector but declined because of his job with PTV and other commitments.