Wahab and Razzaq sacked from PCB selection committee

Pakistan
The fallout from Pakistan’s disappointing T20 World Cup campaign has claimed its first victims, with Wahab Riaz and Abdul Razzaq both sacked as selectors from the national side. Razzaq, who was appointed to the selection committee for both the men’s and women’s side just weeks ago, will no longer serve as a selector for the women’s team, either. It is understood the departures will be officially announced later this week.
As ESPNcricinfo reported last month, Wahab’s job was in danger following Pakistan’s group stage exit from the T20 World Cup. Despite being removed as chief selector earlier this year, and officially appointed as one of seven selectors to a committee that had no chief at all, Wahab was widely viewed as the de facto head of the committee. Internally, Wahab had raised frustrations at this public perception, primarily because it resulted in him bearing the brunt of any criticism for decisions the committee made.

As reported earlier, the nature of the selection committee is also likely to be reconstituted, with a chief selector eventually expected to be reappointed. The numerical strength of the panel is expected to be reduced, making it unlikely that Wahab and Razzaq will be replaced to make up the numbers.

Wahab’s departure is a speedy fall from grace for a man viewed as extremely close to PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi. Wahab had served in his cabinet as caretaker sports minister while Naqvi was appointed caretaker chief minister of Punjab, and followed him to the PCB, where he was initially appointed chief selector. Wahab had also travelled with the Pakistan side to the T20 World Cup as senior team manager, another duty he is likely to be stripped of. Naqvi, for his part, is understood to have been keen to publicly demonstrate no one was immune from adverse consequences.

The decision effectively means the PCB has performed another U-turn on the procedure by which players are picked for the Pakistan national side. The seven-member committee was only announced less than four months ago, with Wahab demoted from chief selector, with each of the seven members carrying an equal vote, and Naqvi saying at the time that the committee would “make a majority decision based around debate and argument to reach a satisfactory conclusion”.

It also indicates a continuation of the instability that has plagued the selection committee over recent years. The PCB has seen six chief selectors over the past four years, with Wahab, Haroon Rashid, Shahid Afridi, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Wasim and Misbah-ul-Haq all serving brief stints.

The remaining five members of the selection committee are the head coach and captain of the respective formats, Mohammad Yousaf, Asad Shafiq and Bilal Afzal, a data analyst.

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