Good fielding crucial for selection: Pak selector

Published: Saturday, May 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Lahore:As the Pakistan cricket team braces itself for a 14-day camp with Jonty Rhodes, chief selector Wasim Bari said players should not aspire to play at the international level if they cannot field well.

''Gone are the days when players could force their way into the national team entirely through batting and bowling performances,'' Bari told The News.

''I would like to tell our young cricketers that they should not expect a chance to play at the international level if they cant field well. It is that important,'' he added.

Emphasising the importance of having good fielders in the team, Bari said the game has undergone a drastic change in the past few years and cricketers with good diving skills have become indispensable.

''The whole concept of how you play cricket has changed in recent times. And it is not just the One-day version of the game. A team's fielding performance is becoming a decisive factor in Test matches as well. Look at England, they failed to win against Sri Lanka because they (the Englishmen) fielded badly,'' said Bari.

Lamenting the lack of good fielders in the team, Bari said Pakistan will have to improve themselves drastically in order to be among the best.

''I am not saying this as a chief selector but as an ex-Test cricketer that one of the Pakistan team's biggest flaws lay in it is fielding,'' Bari said.

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