Pakistan's discarded Test batsmen Misbah-ul-Haq and Faisal Iqbal have lambasted the selection committee for not picking them for the tour of England, saying there was no justification for the panel's decision.
"I don't see the justification for dropping me. I don't understand on what grounds the selectors have dropped me. In my last five tests I have scored four fifties and other runs as well," Faisal said.
He said that it was disappointing that some players had been picked in the touring squad whose performance at the domestic level was not satisfactory. "I don't know what is going on but my exclusion came as a complete shock to me. I never expected this. After being in and out of the team in the last 10 years I feel I have matured as a test player now and they have dropped me," he said.
Faisal, who is the nephew of former captain, Javed Miandad said that on the tours to New Zealand and Australia, when no one was willing to bat at number three, he had accepted the responsibility in the interest of the team and country. "This is how I have been rewarded," said Faisal who has played 26 Tests.
Misbah said he never expected to be omitted from even the shortlist of 35 players for the England tour. "I know I didn't perform well in the recent Twenty20 World Cup but then if you look at the performance of players in the last one year mine has been among the most consistent in every form of the game," Misbah said. "I still have a decent Test and ODI averages so I don't understand what is the criteria for selecting teams these days," he said.
Misbah made it clear that he still felt that he could carry on playing for another two years and had no intentions of retirement. "If I thought in such negative fashion I think I would have retired years ago when they kept on ignoring me despite good domestic performances."
Misbah said he just wanted to know the selection policy in selecting teams for different formats of the game. "I have not given up hope and I will continue to play domestic cricket and I am confident of another comeback to the national team," he said.
The omission of former captain Younus Khan, Faisal Iqbal and a host of other players including wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, batsman Khurrum Manzoor and fast bowler Muhammad Sami have led to strong criticism from former players on the present selectors and the board. The Pakistan squad, presently in Colombo, will leave for their England tour on June 26 directly from the Lankan capital via Dubai.