~~Youhana the only world-class batsman produced by Pakistan in 12 years~~

Published: Monday, May 31, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Out-of-favour Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has blamed the flawed selection process and cricket set-up in his country for being "in and out" of the team despite performing consistently.

"What I don't understand is the reason why I am in and out of the Pakistan team. Whether I perform or not does not seem to make a difference... Nobody gives you any explanation. For a year or two I played consistently, but after that I've been in and out of the team, uncertain of my place," Mahmood said in an emotional interview to a cricket website.

But Mahmood is not disheartened and his desire to play for Pakistan had not died down.

"I don't understand why we fail to be judged on performance. It's all to do with liking and disliking. Sometimes players who are candidates for captaincy are kept out of the squad by people who don't want them to succeed.

"How many players have been ruined by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in this decade? There is no stability in Pakistan cricket and the players change every series. The only world-class batsman that we have produced since the 1992 World Cup is Yousuf Youhana.

"In 12 years we have only produced one-world class batsman.

"That says it all," said the 28-year-old.

"Perhaps I'm fortunate. Perhaps Allah has saved my reputation by helping me avoid some embarrassing defeats. At least I can hold my head up high. I've always given everything for the team and nobody would dare approach me to fix a match - people know I have a strong character. I just need a proper opportunity to serve my country."

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