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March 24, 2019
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T20 performance should not be the selection criteria, says Faisal Iqbal

Pakistan is known to have produced great fast bowlers but on the other hand, the land has raised legendary batsmen too. The new comers are now expected to carry the legacy of Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Haneef Mohammad, Zaheer Abbas, Saeed Anwer, Shahid Afridi, Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf. For cricket followers, Faisal Iqbal is not an unfamiliar name. He is nephew of the great batsman Javed Miandad and claims to be targeted by Miandad’s opponents. Right-handed batsman, Faisal belongs to the ‘Cricketelly fertile’ land of Karachi which has produced excellent cricketers in all ages. He emerged with his Test debut in 2001 against New Zealand where his 42 and 52* was a highlight of the match. He has scored 1124 runs in 26 Tests. Despite a prolific and fair display in domestic and First-class scene, his selection, form and performance in International cricket is still a question mark. We asked Faisal Iqbal to answer.

TheNewsTribe: Why are you still not a part of the national team?

Faisal Iqbal: Ask selectors. Consistent selection matters, I’m never selected on a regular-basis which affects my performance. I’m a middle-order batsman but they make me play on number 3 which is not genuinely my ideal position. They include me for one match as middleorder batsman and then in next match I’m the 12th man. I think the management imposes 3rd position on me so I could not perform and cement my place in the team.

TheNewsTribe: Which format are you comfortable playing in – Test, ODI or T20?

Faisal Iqbal: I can play in all the formats, just need the confidence to play as other players (including senior players) are given. I’m sure I’ll perform better than others Inshallah.

TheNewsTribe: Who you think is the best batsman and bowler of all times?

Faisal Iqbal: Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Akram.

TheNewsTribe: Has T20 anyhow influenced cricket?

Faisal Iqbal: Yes, T20 has changed the game. It should remain as an entertainment but shouldn’t be the selection criteria for other formats. A player performing well in T20 should be considered for T20 only. For Test match selection, the 4-day first-class game should be the criteria.

TheNewsTribe: In the current team, who you think is playing good cricket?

Faisal Iqbal: I think that’s Mohammad Hafeez. He is consistently scoring runs.

TheNewsTribe: Is Karachi ignored when it comes to team selection?

Faisal Iqbal: Yes, and its nothing new, since 30 years. I cannot name anyone but there are lots of talented boys in Karachi who deserve team selection.

TheNewsTribe: What was the reason of the team’s defeat against India in the World Cup semi-final?

Faisal Iqbal: The main reason was the pressure that the players could not sustain in the semi.

TheNewsTribe: How much of your cricket is left?

Faisal Iqbal: I’m 29 right now and have whole career ahead. I’m experienced and more mature cricketer now. PCB has invested in grooming me and now it’s time to utilize me for the country.

TheNewsTribe: Are you hopeful?

Faisal Iqbal: Yes, I am. If treated fairly on merit, I hope to make a strong come back Inshallah.