What sort of a selection policy is better?
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Talented fast-bowler expresses his disappointment at being overlooked for national selection despite an excellent domestic record.

By Amir Husain (14th May, 2016)

If there is a story of great talent but unfulfilled dreams in Pakistan cricket, it must start and end with one name Sadaf Hussain. The twenty-six year old fast-bowler from Chakwal has been a member of the 'knocking on the door of selection for Pakistan team' for a good number of seasons with no success to show for his efforts. With 283 First-Class and 77 List A wickets, Sadaf's plight seems to have gone unnoticed by a procession of selection committees, leaving most neutral observers dumb-founded as to why he cannot become part of the Pakistan team or be picked regularly in domestic competitions.

In exclusive remarks to, the clearly disappointed pacer spoke about his exasperation with the powers that be and wondered whether a move away from Pakistan would finally provide the impetus that his career so badly needs.

Whilst Sadaf in a sad way may have gotten used to being ignored by Pakistan selectors for international assignments, it would appear that the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back would be his inexplicable absence from the list of players in the recently concluded high profile tournaments, namely the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Pakistan Cup. "It's been really frustrating missing out on recent high profile domestic competitions like the Pakistan Super League and also the Pakistan Cup, especially as I have been one of Pakistan domestic cricket's most consistent performers" stated Sadaf. To him the reasons for being consistently sidelined in major domestic competitions are beyond his understanding.

"My domestic statistics and record matches any current Pakistani pace bowler and I find it really mystifying as to why I keep getting ignored again and again for domestic tournaments. Nobody has explained to me why I keep getting ignored. If someone would explain to me why I get overlooked and what I am doing wrong then that would help, but it's just been total silence and that is very disappointing. I keep taking wickets and performing whenever I am picked but when it comes to televised tournaments my name is always missing from the list. I looked at the list of players at the Pakistan Super League and the Pakistan Cup and with all due respect I thought I have been bowling better and have been more consistent than some of the bowlers that were included" added Sadaf.

Clearly at a loss to understand this strange behavior from the selectors, the fast-bowler is now considering options to prolong or even enhance his wilting career. Like all other cricketers from Pakistan, Sadaf would have loved to have represented the country of his birth and must have dreamed of putting in performances which would have made his countrymen proud. Instead, he is now confronted with a sad yet only pragmatic choice of pursuing his career in a country where his skills would be appreciated and rewarded as he remarked, "it's reached a point where I feel that I may be appreciated more outside Pakistan than within my homeland and for this reason I am seriously thinking about leaving Pakistan and settling down and playing cricket in England."

Whilst this may shock some of his compatriots, the fact as he explains, remains that he can have better hopes of being given chances in England where his hard-work and skills will be noticed in a system driven only by merit.

"If only I was given a proper chance I could show people what I am capable of. Last year I was in Birmingham and England were practising in the nets at the Edgbaston indoor cricket centre. I was asked to bowl at some of the England players and it went really well. Afterwards Alastair Cook came up to me and asked me where I was from and who I played for and he was very complimentary about my bowling and wished me well for the future."

Sadaf Hussain is not demanding anything more than a fair go at selection for the national team and a chance to play in major domestic tournaments based upon solid domestic performances, but if that is not forthcoming from the selectors, he is clear about his future course of action as he says "I just want justice and a fair chance like other cricketers are getting. At the moment I'm preparing for club cricket in England and will be heading there soon, but if things don't improve for me in Pakistan then I will have to look to settle in England."