PCB likely to make changes to selection committee after dismal show in T20 World Cup


The seven-member PCB selection committee is likely to undergo changes in the wake of Pakistan’s dismal T20 World Cup campaign. While the PCB will undertake a review to assess what went wrong for Pakistan, it is understood streamlining the operations of the selection committee is a top priority for the board. ESPNcricinfo understands the number of people on the selection committee will be reduced, with the PCB also considering ditching its brief experiment of having a selection committee without an official head or chief.

It was less than three months ago that the present selection committee was unveiled. Wahab Riaz, who had until then served as its chair, was stripped of that title, although he did remain a member of the committee. Each of the seven members carried an equal vote, with PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi saying at the time that the committee would “make a majority decision based around debate and argument to reach a satisfactory conclusion”.

Wahab, though, is not expected to regain his position as the head of the committee, should the post be recreated. ESPNcricinfo understands there is frustration at the PCB, including from Wahab himself, about public perception that he runs the selection committee as its de facto head, and consequently shoulders the brunt of any criticism. Wahab’s departure from the committee altogether remains a very strong possibility, with Naqvi keen to publicly demonstrate no one is immune from adverse consequences.

Meanwhile, it is believed a decision on Babar Azam‘s captaincy is not immediately expected. Despite a situation that has become increasingly emotionally charged since Pakistan were knocked out of the ongoing T20 World Cup, it is felt the need to take a call either way is not pressing, given Pakistan’s next white-ball game isn’t till November.
The review will include feedback from several members of the management who were with the side on tour, most notably head coach Gary Kirsten. Kirsten’s opinion holds sway at the PCB, having been appointed in April after an extensive search for a coach. Following Pakistan’s exit from the tournament, multiple reports emerged of Kirsten expressing dismay at the lack of unity in the side. And while the veracity of the specific content of Kirsten’s remarks remains hazy, it is understood there was a frank and robust exchange of views, which could set the tone for the tour report he submits to the PCB.

If no decision is publicly communicated by that time, indications of any further changes to the national set-up may lie in the revisions made to players’ central contracts when they expire on June 30. Though the PCB and the players agreed to three-year contracts in a landmark decision last year, that only applies to the overarching terms of the contract. Individual players can be moved up and down in categories – or left out altogether – depending on their performances. At the moment, there are three players in the highest category: Babar, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

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