If you can’t field, you can’t play for Pakistan:Arthur


KARACHI: Pakistan cricket coach Mickey Arthur on Thursday explained the reason behind Mohammad Hafeez’s non-selection in the T20 squad for the West Indies series, saying that his being unable to bowl due to illegal bowling action went against his favour.

“If Hafeez is bowling, that’s great. But if not, then that’s a problem,” Arthur told reporters at the National Stadium, where the team took part in a training session ahead of the T20 series starting April 1.

Asked about Kamran Akmal’s continued absence from the national squad despite blistering performance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), Arthur reiterated that he will not compromise on fielding standards.

“Kamran Akmal is a very good batsman, but unfortunately he can’t field. We [already] have Sarfraz Ahmed as our wicketkeeper. Fielding is non-negotiable. If you can’t field, you can’t play for Pakistan. Simple as that.”

The coach expressed his excitement at having more young blood in the squad in the form of Asif Ali, Hussain Talat and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

“These guys have brought fresh energy to the squad. We have a very strong squad, with all the in-form players. All of them are going to get equal chances,” he said.

Asked why Rahat Ali was picked up ahead of Wahab Riaz, Arthur said, “Rahat Ali bowled really well [in PSL]. There’s [plenty of] Test cricket coming up.”

Enthusiastic about international cricket returning to Karachi, the coach said he cannot wait for the stadium to fill up again.

“Big names or not, West Indies are a very proud cricket nation, and their youngsters will perform [their best]. It will be a good series.”

Pakistan will play West Indies in three T20s on April 1, 2 and 3 at National Stadium, Karachi, as the metropolis finally welcomes the return of international cricket after a hiatus of nine years.

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