ISLAMABAD: Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq says seasoned off-spinner Saeed Ajmal may return to the national team on the basis of his performance in domestic cricket.
“Ajmal has done well in the National T20 Cup. If he continues his form in domestic cricket and the need arises he may get the chance to represent the country again,” Inzamam said while talking to a private TV channel.
“He is a world-class player and it will be good for Pakistan cricket if he comes back into the [national] side,” the chief selector added.
Inzamam, however, made it clear that while the selectors were observing the performance of Ajmal and other players, they would be selected only according to the national team requirements.
“We are now following the policy of picking players according to team requirements. And if Ajmal is required [in our scheme of things] at anytime he will be selected for national duty,” he said.
Ajmal, 39, who last represented Pakistan in April 2015 when he featured in the one-off T20 against Bangladesh at Dhaka, was the country’s trump card in the 35 Tests, 113 ODIs and 64 T20 Internationals he played from 2008 to 2015.
While admitting that Pakistan was currently facing a drought of quality off-spinners, Inzamam said the search for promising spinners was on.
All the off-spinners performing well in domestic cricket would be called at the National Cricket Academy for further grooming, he said.
“Similarly, we are also focusing on all-rounders; the good ones among them would be called to the NCA to receive training from our able coaches,” he maintained.
To a question, Inzamam reckoned Pakistan’s Test side were well settled, adding the national selection committee would not find any difficulty in announcing the Test squad for the forthcoming tours to New Zealand and Australia.
“The playing conditions in Australia and New Zealand will be difficult. Keeping this [expected] scenario in view we are considering sending an extra opener and a middle-order batsman.”
Meanwhile commenting on Azhar Ali, the chief selector said the idea to send him as opener was made by the team management which paid off.
“There is not a big difference between the opener slot and that of middle-order. Azhar is doing well as opener. If he also performs well Down Under then I think we should consider him as our regular opener,” Inzamam said.