Selection committee consultant Asad Shafiq awaits clarity on role

KARACHI: Recently named one of the consultant members of the Wahab Riaz-led national selection committee, out-of-favour Pakistan international Asad Shafiq is still waiting for clarity over his new role.

Asad was appointed in the position following the removal of former captain Salman Butt from the committee just a day after the latter’s inclusion in it had drawn backlash due to his history of being the central figure of the spot-fixing saga that shook Pakistan cricket in 2010.

Although Asad was readily brought on board in place of Salman to join other consultant members in Pakistan discard Kamran Akmal and ex player Rao Iftikhar Anjum, the 37-year-old hasn’t been communicated clearly the nature of the job.

“I still haven’t been told how exactly I need to go about it,” he told Dawn after the National T20 Cup match between Karachi Whites and Abbotabad on Monday.

“My talks [with the PCB] have been only verbal so far and I’ll be able to have a more clear idea when the contract comes and it will also help me make a decision.”

After losing his place in the Pakistan Test team in 2020 following a run of low scores, Asad has regularly featured in the domestic circuit and that too across all three formats.

The right-handed batter has topped the run-scoring charts at the national level in the last three seasons and is currently leading Karachi Whites in the National T20 Cup.

Asad lamented how the 18-team tournament was scheduled in a way that it was hurting players. As many as four matches are being played on daily basis in the ongoing Super Eight stage of the tournament, which means teams are playing matches almost everyday.

“There are no gaps between the matches and players aren’t getting enough time to rest, especially the fast bnowlers,” said Asad.

“We played a match last night, reached home at midnight and we had a match the next afternoon. It doesn’t help with recovery.”

The group stage of the tournament saw eight matches being played per day after the event had started not long after the preceding Pakistan Cup — the premier domestic List A tournament.

“The Pakistan Cup had ended just before that but if we got enough time to practice keeping in mind the T20 format, it would have been better,” noted Asad.

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