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Pakistan cricket receives major jolts before Ramiz’s formal election as the PCB chairman; Babar also is not happy with the WC team selection

By our correspondent

ISLAMABAD: When the T20 World Cup is just around the corner Pakistan’s cricket has seen major changes at various fronts. As former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja is set to be formally elected as the PCB chairman on September 13 Pakistan have already lost both their head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis. According to sources Misbah held a meeting with the PCB chief executive Wasim Khan on Monday and the later advised the former Pakistan captain to take rest as head coach during Pakistan’s home series against New Zealand which is set to begin with the first one-day at the Pindi Stadium Rawalpindi on September 17.

Misbah, according to sources, exchanged hot words with the PCB chief executive. He was also not happy with the stance of the PCB for not taking him into confidence while picking the squad for the T20 World Cup and for the One-day series against New Zealand which will land after 18 years in Pakistan in the wee hours of September 12.

Sources said that after knowing the intention of the PCB that it does not require the services of Misbah any more the former Pakistan captain tendered his resignation when he had completed two years of his three-year contract with the PCB.

Sources said that the PCB had also asked Waqar to step down. Waqar, according to sources, had also been given an indirect indication by Ramiz Raja during a phone call recently that the new chairman would not be able to keep him as a bowling coach any more.

Waqar also stepped down after he knew that Misbah also parted ways with the PCB. This has left Pakistan cricket in deep trouble. The PCB have brought in Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches for the home series against New Zealand.

Sources also revealed that skipper Babar Azam is also not happy with the Pakistan team selection for the ICC T20 World Cup which is going to kick-start in the UAE and Oman next month. Sources said that Babar has not been taken into confidence on the selection of hard-hitting batsman Sohaib Maqsood and Azam Khan. Sources said that Babar wanted Faheem Ashraf and Fakhar Zaman in the squad.

Faheem, who has been impressive in the recent tours, was a big mess when he was not picked for the World Cup. Fakhar has been kept in the touring reserves list along with leggie Usman Qadir and youthful fast bowling sensation Shahnawaz Dhani.

Sources said that during a telephone call with Babar Azam Ramiz had advised him to focus on his job rather than managing ins and outs of the players from the team. Sources, meanwhile, said that left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Amir has also shown interest in returning to Pakistan team following the resignation of Misbah and Waqar. Amir had announced retirement in December last year after developing differences with Misbah and Waqar.

The next few days are very important as more resignations may come when Ramiz will be crowned as the PCB chairman formally on September 13. Ramiz, also a former PCB chief executive, will replace Ehsan Mani who has not agreed to work for the six-month extended period which he had been offered by the Board’s patron Imran Khan during a meeting with him recently.

Sources said that WC squad was picked after the chief selector took input from the upcoming PCB chairman Ramiz Raja.

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