The Pakistan Cricket Board is in for yet another dilemma. Both the former T20 captain Mohammed Hafeez and present One Day Internationals skipper Azhar Ali boycotted the training camp set up by PCB in anticipation of the upcoming tour of New Zealand.
Their reason for the boycott was reservations about another potential teammate, Mohammed Amir. Amir was embroiled in the 2010 spot-fixing scandal, along with former captain Salman Butt and fast bowler Mohammad Asif. After being barred from the game for five years by the ICC, Amir was allowed by them to attend camp to check his fitness for possible inclusion in the national squad.
Hafeez had already openly shown his disapproval towards Amir’s return, saying that in a country where there was no dearth of talent, the team could very well do without players who had been involved in corrupt practices and brought a bad name to their nation. Now, Azhar, too, has joined ranks with co-skipper in trying to block Amir’s re-entry into the side.
Test captain Misbah, as well as T20 skipper Shahid Afridi, however, have both left the ball in PCB’s court, saying it’s the board’s prerogative to select players for the national squad. It’s likely that PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan will soon hold meetings with all the captains and disgruntled players to resolve issues and create a spirit of unity before the New Zealand tour. To win matches, the most important thing for the Pakistan team is to present a united front.