LAHORE, March 19: Current Chief selector Mohsin Hasan Khan and former one Salahuddin Ahmad Sallu paid lavish tributes to fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar who announced his decision to retire from all cricket after the World Cup on Thursday.
“In my view it’s a good decision by Shoaib. In fact, such examples are very rare in Pakistan that any player has taken such decision on his own,” Mohsin said
“And I wish him all the very best for his future. Every cricketer has to say goodbye to the game at one time or another but I really appreciate who bow out with dignity.”
Mohsin disclosed that Shoaib met up with him before the last Asia Cup, held in Sri Lanka, and requested that he be seriously considered for World Cup selection. “Shoaib admitted in that meeting that while he has committed many mistakes in the past, he has also put in his best for the country on many occasions and therefore has a right to get selected for the 2011 World Cup,” disclosed Mohsin.
“I told Shoaib that while I respected his wish to serve Pakistan and that he was aiming for a happy ending to his career, he should satisfy team captain (Afridi), coach (Waqar) and the selectors with his fitness which, I must say, he did.
“I am a witness to Shoaib’s hectic efforts for regaining fitness and how he undertook running and physical exercises under scorching heat in the month of June in Lahore. I discussed with PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and also consulted with Afridi and Waqar, who then personally watched Shoaib in action and agreed that he should be given a chance in the mega event,” said Mohsin.
“From then on, Shoaib has played in Asia Cup, the series against England and later against South Africa in Abu Dhabi and now in the World Cup, with his focus and fitness really of top level,” he said. “And as ex-Pakistan cricketer and not as chief selector, I feel lot of respect for Shoaib.”
Sallu further said Shoaib had played a good role in the ongoing World Cup and his fiery delivery which clean bowled Mahela Jayawardene in the crucial match against Sri Lanka was the turning point. “Against New Zealand, he could have got the wicket of Ross Taylor, twice in one over”
“I wish him all the success in the remaining matches of the World Cup and hope he can carry Pakistan to title,” concluded Sallu