Karachi accuses Pakistan of 'unfair selection'

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/P/PCB-Logo.jpg' class='caption'> Cricket officials criticised the selections of Pakistan's team currently on tour in England.

Updated: August 13, 2010 07:44 IST
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Cricket officials in Karachi criticised the selections of Pakistan's team currently on tour in England, calling it an injustice to players from the country's largest city.

"A number of talented cricketers from Karachi have been neglected," Khalil Nanitalwala, vice-president of the Karachi City Cricket Association (KCCA) told a news conference.

"The team's recent showings in England prove that merit was not followed in team selection," Nanitalwala said.

Pakistan trail England 2-0 in the four-Test series, after levelling its two-Test series against Australia 1-1, on a tour marred by poor batting and fielding from a relatively young side.

After losing the first Test against England by a big, 354-run margin in Nottingham, Pakistan excluded leg-spinner Danish Kaneria from the squad for the second Test, leaving paceman Tanvir Ahmed as the only player from Karachi.

Nanitalwala said Karachi players, including Kaneria, had been deliberately omitted from the squad for the second Test, which Pakistan lost by nine wickets this week. The third Test will start in London on August 18.

"Kaneria was ousted after not being able to perform well in the first Test which is quite unprecedented and a blow to Karachi cricket," said Nanitalwala, who led a protest outside the Karachi Press Club.

Around 200 Karachi players chanted slogans against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and its selection committee.

"Karachi's Asad Shafiq was among the top run-getters in the last domestic season, while Khurrum Manzoor, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Sami, Fawad Alam and a number of other players also deserved places in the team," said Nanitalwala.

When asked why the KCCA took so long to protest after the England-bound team was announced in June, Nanitalwala said: "We have been protesting with the PCB but decided to go public only after they took no notice."

He said the association wanted Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also the patron of the PCB, to remove the board's chairman, Ijaz Butt, whom it accused of "injustices and nepotism".

A number of former players have also criticised the Pakistan selection and have demanded Butt's removal.

No PCB official was available to comment on the KCCA's latest allegations, but on Sunday Butt brushed aside similar criticism, saying the team selection was appropriate and accusing the media of acting as selectors.

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