Pakistan's national selectors will meet next week to pick the squad for the five-match ODI series against Bangladesh in April. A selector told The News that the selection committee will start taking inputs from the Pakistan team management before naming the squad.
The selectors will be particularly keen on speaking to the management after it emerged that Geoff Lawson, the coach, was unhappy with the selection procedure before the ODI series against Zimbabwe. Lawson said, in a report to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), that despite assurances from the board he was not consulted in the finalisation of the 15-member squad named for the series, which Pakistan won 5-0.
There have been reports of friction between coach and selectors earlier but this was the first time Lawson had put it in writing. PCB rules stipulate that national selectors should consult the captain and coach while finalising the squad during a home series. The selectors, though, have the prerogative to pick the final playing eleven, a change from the past when the team management had the authority to do this.
Lawson's grouse was that the selectors had not even consulted him while picking the full squad. In his report on the series against Zimbabwe, Lawson also talked about the 2011 World Cup and his doubts over whether allrounder Shahid Afridi had a role to play in the tournament. "The performance of Shahid Afridi will have to be closely monitored before finalising the likely team for the World Cup 2011," he wrote.
The series against Bangladesh was hurriedly lined up by the PCB after Australia refused to go ahead with the tour scheduled for March-April because of security concerns. Bangladesh are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on April 6 to play five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international. According to the unofficial itinerary, the opening match will be played on April 9 in Lahore, which will also host the second one-dayer on April 11. The rest of the ODIs will be played on April 14 in Faisalabad and April 17 and 20 in Rawalpindi. Karachi will host the only Twenty20 match on April 22.