Pakistan news – Ahmed Shehzad quits PSL in a huff, points to ‘coordinated effort’ to deny him a team

Ahmed Shehzad has retired from the PSL in a blaze of fury, blaming a “deliberate effort” by all six franchises to keep him out of the competition. In a detailed statement, in which he said – without elucidating – that he knew “exactly the reasons why I’m not made part of the PSL”, he said he was leaving to keep his self-respect intact.

It does not signal a retirement from all cricket, with Shehzad claiming he had been offered money to participate in leagues around the world, offers which he should theoretically be able to take up now. His statement suggested disillusionment with Pakistan cricket, saying patriotism “goes against you”, and pointedly suggesting other players had taken up lucrative league contracts around the globe, while he opted to stay in the domestic circuit.

“I have tried really hard in domestic cricket consistently in the last few years, and did reasonably well in the National T20 Cup just before the PSL draft,” he wrote in a post on social media. “There seems a deliberate effort to keep me out, even when franchises have opted for other performers with inferior numbers than me,” he said. “But when everything is pre-planned it doesn’t really matter. I don’t know whose responsibility it is to get top domestic performers in the PSL then.”

Shehzad, 32, last played in the PSL in 2020, primarily representing Quetta Gladiators with whom he won the title in 2019, scoring a half-century in that final. He had a poor tournament in 2020, scoring 61 runs in seven innings, and did not play again. He scored 1077 runs in 45 PSL matches at a strike rate of 120.06, and was the first Pakistani to score a hundred in T20I cricket.

Despite being out of Pakistan contention for a few years now, there has been something of a campaign this season – on social media if nowhere else – to have Shehzad selected for Pakistan again. Wahab Riaz, the chief selector, has been asked questions about a possible recall for Shehzad on a couple of occasions, as was incoming selector Asad Shafiq. Both have played down his chances though have not ruled out a return.

Shehzad had a decent National T20 Cup, with 344 runs at 133.33, but could find no takers at the PSL draft on December 13. Pakistan’s next T20 assignment is a series with New Zealand, shortly after their red-ball tour of Australia.

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