FALLOUT

Riaz, Razzaq axed from selection panel following Pakistan's World Cup debacle

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File Photo: Wahab Riaz
File Photo: Wahab Riaz © Getty

The fallout from Pakistan's dismal T20 World Cup campaign in the USA has resulted in Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq being sacked from their positions in Pakistan Cricket Board's selection committee.

While the PCB has not yet confirmed the much-talked-about development, Cricbuzz understands that it's only a matter of time before an announcement is made.

Both Riaz and Razzaq were part of the seven-member selection committee that picked the squad for the ICC tournament. An internal PCB inquiry is believed to have found discrepancies in many of the committee's decisions. It can also be confirmed that the PCB's decision is linked to feedback received from various members of the touring committee - including the manager, coach, and possibly even the captain Babar Azam. In fact, Razzaq will also be removed from his position on the women's team selection panel.

"The decision was taken following feedback from various stakeholders, including players and support staff, regarding the promotion and selection of certain players despite reservations from other members," sources familiar with the developments told Cricbuzz.

In an exclusive interview during the tournament, Ramiz Raja, a former captain and a former head of the PCB, had criticised the selection of the team, especially the recall of Imad Wasim and Mohammad Amir, who were brought out of retirement.

More pertinently, the fact that Riaz and Razzaq are part of the ongoing World Championship of Legends being played in Birmingham has not gone down well with the PCB authorities. Their decision to feature in the charity games at a time when the PCB is under pressure did not make for good optics. Pakistan have already sealed qualification to the semifinals of the six-team league, featuring retired players from India, Pakistan, South Africa, England, the West Indies, and Australia.

The selection committee, without a chairman, was announced by the PCB more than three months ago. In addition to Riaz and Razzaq, the committee included Mohammad Yousuf and Asad Shafiq, along with the national team's respective captain and coach, Gary Kirsten or Jason Gillespie. "The seventh member is Bilal Afzal (data analyst), who will be responsible for providing the members with statistics and data to assist in the selection process," the PCB had stated in its March 24 release.

Pakistan suffered a shock defeat at the hands of the co-hosts USA. A subsequent close loss to India in New York further dented their chances of advancing further in the World Cup, although they managed to beat Canada and Ireland. India and the USA advanced to the Super 8 stage from the Group (A), with Rohit Sharma's side lifting the trophy in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 29.

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