PCB expected to restructure selection committee following dismal run in T20 World Cup

A decision regarding Babar Azam's captaincy is not anticipated to be forthcoming immediately.

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PCB. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)

Pakistan, along with India, were favourites to advance from Group A into the knockout phase of the T20 World Cup 2024. While India met these expectations, Pakistan's performance was a major disappointment. Early defeats in their first two matches against co-hosts USA, and India were sufficient to derail their campaign and confirm an early exit.

Understandably, there were significant repercussions, with a torrent of critical comments directed at both the team and management from various former Pakistani luminaries. Some even called for the complete overhaul of the Pakistan Cricket Board, driven by a sense of humiliation and disrespect that fueled such responses.

The seven-member PCB selection committee is likely to be remoulded in the aftermath of Pakistan's underwhelming T20 World Cup campaign, as per an ESPNcricinfo report. While the PCB will conduct a comprehensive review to identify the shortcomings of Pakistan's performance, it is understood that optimising the operations of the selection committee is a top priority for the board. The PCB plans to cut down on the number of members on the selection committee and is considering abandoning its brief experiment of operating without an official head or chief.

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Former Pakistani bowler Wahab Riaz, who was selected as the chairperson of the national men's selection committee on November 17, 2023, was stripped off the title three months back, although he remained a member of the committee.

However, it is unlikely that he will reclaim the role of committee head, should it be reinstated. There is a sense of dissatisfaction within the PCB, including from Wahab himself, regarding the public perception that he effectively leads the selection committee and bears the majority of criticism. Wahab's complete exit from the committee remains a distinct possibility, as PCB chairman, Mohsin Naqvi, is eager to publicly assert that no one is exempt from negative ripples.

Meanwhile, there is a belief that a decision regarding Babar Azam's captaincy is not imminent. Despite an emotionally charged atmosphere following Pakistan's elimination from the ongoing T20 World Cup, it is deemed unnecessary to make a definitive decision at this juncture, especially since Pakistan's next white-ball fixture isn't scheduled until November, during when they will ll be touring Australia for a three-match ODI series, followed by as many T20Is.

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The review will also incorporate inputs from various management members who accompanied the team on tour, notably head coach, Gary Kirsten. Kirsten's influence at the PCB is substantial, having been appointed in April after an extensive process.

Following Pakistan's elimination from the tournament, multiple reports indicated Kirsten's discontent with the team's lack of cohesion. Although the precise details of Kirsten's comments are unclear, there was evidently a candid and vigorous exchange of perspectives, which may shape the tone of the tour report he submits to the PCB.

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