RAWALPINDI: Northern’s talented stroke maker Sohail Akhtar’s absence from the on field action raises question whether the ability alone is enough to play top-level cricket in Pakistan as the second leg of the National T20 Cup is starting today here at the Pindi Stadium.
Almost half of the tournament is over but we did not see Sohail Akhtar in action. He picked groomed and then named captain of the PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars he has tailor-made ability for shorter account of the game and that was one of the reasons.
In National T20 Cup is a matter that may surprise many top-order stroke-maker who is capable of leading a PSL franchise is not worthy of playing. The impression was that Sohail might not be fully fit to play the Cup.
“There is no problem with Sohail’s fitness. As I am a manager, so I have no say in selection matters. Coach Mohammad Wasim has all the powers to pick the team,” he said.
In the side that did not get a chance to bend muscles so far as well Sohail Farzan Raja is the other player. Both the players belong to the same PSL squad. He said Sohail would get a chance in the coming matches when Mohammad Wasim approached.
Wasim said, “We wanted to give young blood an opportunity to play first. Sohail is a good player and definitely he would get his due to play in rest of the matches”
He added that the PSL has different main concern. “Before taking any decision we are considering all the aspects as the PSL and National T20 Cup have two different criteria.”
Here the question arises why a quality player like Sohail sidelined from the first leg of the competition. If Northern did not need him, he should have been in Southern Punjab team that was struggling to raise a good combination.
Just keeping him in reserves would not do any good to player’s competence. One hopes that there would be no personal grudges behind the issue.
Critics have already expressed their concerns over the relegation of few top performers to the second XI.