Haroon Rashid returns as chief selector

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Optimistic about joining of Mickey Arthur as new coach

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi announced on Monday that Haroon Rashid will be joining the national setup as the chief selector.

In an official handout, the PCB said other members of the selection panel will be announced in due course.

“Haroon played 23 Tests and 12 ODIs from 1977 to 1983 and last held this position in 2015-16,” according to the PCB. “Most recently, he was the convener of the Interim Selection Committee after having previously served in administrative and coaching roles with the age group and national sides.”

Commenting on his new role, Rashid said he was honoured to have been entrusted with the responsibility and looks forward to working very closely with the team management and the National High-Performance Centre.

“So that we have clear pathways and can work collectively to select the best available players for what will be a busy and high-profile year of cricket, including the ACC Asia Cup, ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, and the tour of Australia for three Tests,” he added.

“One of the key aspects I will like to focus on during my time will be improving communication. This is a critical area as the players need to have absolute clarity on why they have been selected or not selected, which, in turn, will help them to deliver the desired results, work harder on their skills, and remain motivated.”

PCB Chairman Najam Sethi congratulated Rashid on his appointment, saying that he hoped the chief selector will use his “cricket knowledge, understanding, and background while picking squads for the upcoming international assignments”.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference in Lahore, Sethi shed light on the rumours surrounding the return of Mickey Arthur as the new coach.

“I didn’t close the chapter on Mickey Arthur. I am personally in negotiations with him and I think we have covered 90 per cent of the way,” he said. “Hopefully, we may give you the news that Mickey will be joining us.”

The PCB chief added that everything was not settled right now and there were some issues which will be resolved in the next two to three days and “Mickey will be back”.

“When he comes, I’ve told him to tell me what team he wants and how much we need to pay them,” Sethi said. “Then, we can take things forward.”

The PCB chair said that Mark Coles will also be joining as the women’s team coach in June after his contract with Namibia ends.

Regarding departmental cricket, Sethi said all the departments were officially notified to start readying their teams. “We received a positive response from one. If deemed necessary, I’ll go meet the heads of these organisations.”

In reply to a question pertaining to Shan Masood’s selection as the Vice Captain, the PCB chief defended himself saying: “According to the Constitution, the appointment of the chief selector, captain and vice-captain is my decision.”

“I consult everyone. I even listen to the views of reporters and experts,” he said. “If I made Shan the vice-captain, I never insisted that he should play. I had an opinion but the chief selector and captain had one too. He became the vice captain but was made to sit out.”

“When selectors send me something, I just have to constitutionally sign it. These consultations keep on going. Technically, I will never interfere in the team’s selection. When I hear the points of experts, it’s my responsibility to share my opine with selectors.”

Sethi said it was premature to talk about skipper Babar Azam’s captaincy, highlighting that “Babar was possibly one the greatest batsmen in the world”.