Good riddance to Imran Farhat!

Published: March 10, 2012

Ahmed Shehzad's performance speaks for itself, and it surprises me that he continues to be ignored.

When Mohammad Ilyas announced his resignation following the series between Pakistan and England, I was a content man. Not because Mohammad Ilyas wasn’t going to be part of the PCB selection committee going forward, but because his resignation signaled the end of Imran Farhat’s career.

It has been cause for suspicion that Farhat’s inclusion in Pakistan’s squads has been due to dear daddy-in-law, and with him no longer selecting the team now, Farhat was likely to be dropped. This was made official when Pakistan’s new chief selector, Iqbal Qasim, announced Pakistan’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup.

I was doubly satisfied when not only Farhat, but Shoaib Malik was also axed.

No Imran Farhat. No Shoaib Malik. God, I must be dreaming. When was the last time a Pakistan squad was picked without either of these two? I really don’t remember. I won’t lie, I was expecting this, but still I had to read the list  twice to make sure I wasn’t dreaming!

With both these alleged parchis out of the team, Nasir Jamshed made his comeback, and Adnan Akmal made way for Sarfraz Ahmed for the wicketkeeping duties/ I believe Iqbal Qasim has done a good job.

Sarfraz should have always been behind the stumps for the ODIs and I still don’t know why he was dropped for the England series when he had a decent outing against the Sri Lankans in December. Adnan is good for the tests no doubt, but for the ODIs, a more aggressive Sarfraz definitely makes more sense.

I don’t mind the inclusion of Nasir Jamshed (anyone but Farhat really) considering he provides aggressive starts at the top of the innings. However, I do wonder what was the criteria for his selection. Considering that the Asia Cup will be played in Bangladesh, the selectors might have given some weight to the performances of the Pakistani players that took part in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.

But then if that was the case, there were three Pakistani openers that did better than Nasir Jamshed did in the BPL.


I will never advocate the inclusion of Kamran Akmal in any Pakistan team, where as for Imran Nazir, he might be good enough to still play T20s for Pakistan, but I feel he is too unreliable for the ODIs.

On the other hand, Ahmed Shehzad is Pakistan’s future, and it surprises me that he continues to be ignored. His performance in the BPL speaks for itself, and even if the BPL performance is not enough evidence, I fail to understand why he got dropped from the team in the first place.  Even though I did hear something about disciplinary issues being the reason behind this decision.

Seriously? Are you telling me that there is no one in the Pakistan team management that can discipline this 20-year-old kid?

The National One Day Championship in Pakistan hasn’t happened yet this season, but one can always compare Nasir and Shehzad’s performances in the domestic T20 and first class games.

During the current 2011-12 domestic season, Ahmed Shehzad has outperformed Nasir Jamshed in every competition, besides the Pentangular Cup. If you include the BPL among these, then one can see that Shehzad has done better than Nasir in four domestic tournaments out of five.

Then what made the selectors go for Nasir and not Shehzad? It’s not that Nasir has done badly, since he has had a decent season domestically and has proven himself at the BPL too, it’s just that Shehzad has done better.

Why does he remains on the sidelines then? That is anyone’s guess.

This post was originally published here.





Umair Qazi

An investment advisor in Dubai who blogs at and tweets @WellPitched

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • afzaal khan

    There are serious discplinary issues with Ahmed shehzad both intl and domestic, PCB are not his parents neither is their job to fix his discipline. If u can’t understand that than u shouldn’t be writing a blog abt it.

    Furthermore Nasir Jamshed was dropped due to fitness issues since he seems to have overcome that he deserve his spot back a good example of cricketer dropped and make a comeback not on parchi but by fixing what was wrong, ahmed shehzad was dropped on disciplinary issues and what he did pick up endless fights in domestic cricket showing he hasn’t fixed it. It was also recommended he needs professional help for anger management. Read up tour report.Recommend

  • Umair Ahmed Baig

    ahmed shehzad was dropped dude to his inconsistent run in the side, he was given enough exposure at the international level and he couldn’t performRecommend

  • Abbas

    Imran will be back the moment his father in law is back as chief selector. It’s only a matter of time! Don’t get your hopes up.Recommend

  • Salaar Shamsi

    Ahmed Shahzad is a definite talent but his lack of discipline can cause more harm than good to the unit, which is why until he gets his head in the right place, it might be better to freeze him out, as far as Nasir Jamshed’s inclusion goes, he’s a decent batsman, who needs to realize there is life beyond a 30-40 start, all these lads need to realize, once you get to a 40, it’s your responsibility to carry on, atleast one of the top 4, needs to get an 80+ in every game, the only other reason for his inclusion, would be him being a left-hander. Pakistan crave a left-hand, right-hand combination to annoy the opposition’s new-ball bowlers and with Hafeez already present, it had to be a lefty. As you said, Farhat out for good. Taufiq not considered an ODI player, Butt in jail, Shan Masood still being groomed, Fawad not considered an opener, it had to be Jamshed.Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    The statistics you put forward for the comparison are unreliable given the small number of matches played.Recommend

  • Corrupt

    PCB is ignoring Ahmed Shehzad because of disciplinary issues. Performance should not be the only criteria for selection….Recommend

  • M.Ahmed Siddiqui

    Simple Nasir Jamshed is a left hander in the list. A variety in batting lineup of all left handersRecommend

  • Ahsan

    Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
    ODIs 12 12 2 353 74 35.30 349 101.14 0 4 49 6 4 0
    Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
    ODIs 19 19 1 477 115 26.50 706 67.56 2 0 52 6 7 0

    I guess this comparison should be what we look at before all other domestic cricket stats.Recommend

  • awais

    yes its amazing.. Ahmad Shahzad scored a century in New Zeeland, then a century in the world cup and then a century in West Indies. After that he was dropped.. saying he was inconsistent is unfair. he was the most consistent opener for Pakistan after an inform HafeezRecommend

  • Rehan

    Dear Afzaal, the writer is entitled to his or her opinion. You are no one to judge whether he should be blogging about it not, and honestly that is no way to speak to a respected blogger. The PCB did in fact try and curb Shoaib Akhtar’s disciplinary issues, and parented him through plenty of them. Ahmed is 20, I’m sure the team management can take care of him.

    You mention the tour report, can you please share that. I don’t know where I can get access to the tour report. Thanks.Recommend

  • Ahmed

    Umair Qazi is comparing apples with oranges. How can you use T20 form to justify inclusion in ODI team?

    Shehzad got his chance to cement his place but failed miserably in the world cup. In fact he has a very high percentage of under 10 innings in ODIs. Although he is talented, he clearly needs to work on his game. Nasir deserves a chance. He had an average in mid thirties in the international ODIs and scored a 50 yesterday. So he has repaid the confidence showed to him by the selectors.Recommend

  • Umair Qazi

    @Ahmed: that was the point exactly, that on what basis was Nasir Jamshed drafted back into the squad? Both Nasir and Shehzad have not played any List A cricket recently for their form to be judged. So what I compared was their recent performances in all cricket that they have played and Shehzad comes out on top. I agree that Shehzad had a poor world cup but he went to the West Indies after the world cup and scored an ODI ton there. He was also in NZ before the WC where he scored an ODI ton. So just cos of a poor WC you drop him? I think that’s a bit unfair. He was only dropped to make way for Imran Farhat and we all know why. As for Nasir, I also agree that he should not have been dropped back in 2008-09.. he averaged in the mid 30s, had a strike rate above a 100 and 4 50s in 13 ODI innings.. definitely not the stats of someone u drop.. so do you see the inconsistency in selection that we have? This is what needs to be rid of… and simply once again, comparing recent domestic performances of Nasir and Shehzad shows that Shehzad has done better, then on what basis is Nasir back on the squad, irrespective of whether he was unfairly dropped or the fact that he has repaid the faith with a 50 against Bangladesh.Recommend

  • JB

    You should realised that the stats above are based on T20 contests. Ahmed Shehzad’s game is more suited to the shorter format. But I do agree that Imran Farhat should have been dropped along with Shoaib Malik. They have been given too many chances and it was high time to make way for some new people.Recommend

  • http://Islamabad Awais Ch

    “where as for Imran Nazir, he might be good enough to still play T20s for Pakistan, but I feel he is too unreliable for the ODIs”

    BTW who is that much reliable in our team???? Afridi? younis? Hafeez? Misbah?Recommend

  • Tanvir

    No doubt, Ahmad Shahzad is talented young player and is also very active in the field, but when he come to internatioanl cricket matches, his performance is not good enough as we experience in the 2011 World Cup. Maybe he can not handle pressure on that level. This is a point his coachs work for him to sort out this problem. But i personally think he should be given one more chance to prove his abilities and especially in the coming T20 World Cup. He can be useful with Imran Nazir or Awaiz Zia. Hafeez can bat on Number3.Recommend

  • Baba

    20 year old kid???
    You seriously think he is a 20 year old kid. PCB is a liar itself, no wonder our players are corrupt too…Recommend