ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has a long history of destroying glittering careers of players and it is continuing its policy of doing the same in recent times.
Talented middle order batsman Faisal Iqbal is a classic example of PCB's step-motherly treatment in this regard, just because he has close relationship with legendry cricketer Javed Miandad. Instead of taking advantage of Miandad's relation, he always suffered because of it.
Faisal has scored almost 11,000 first class runs in his career and interestingly, he scored nearly 5,000 runs in domestic One-dayers as well. He was long carrying the tag of suitable for only longer version of the game, but he proved that tag completely wrong by excelling in limited overs cricket and scoring loads of runs.
Faisal started his Test career way back in 2001 against New Zealand and scored 52 and 42 in the first and second innings in it and also scored 60 runs in the second Test. But never had the opportunity of getting chances on regular basis like others, who, despite not performing in a number of matches, managed to cling on to their places in the national squad due to their close affiliation with the PCB insideRs
Faisal was last given chance in 2010 against Australia at the fast and bouncy tracks. He had to bat at one down position, a place never suited to a player of Faisal’s caliber, but even then he performed reasonably. But was dropped on the pretext of poor performance at a time when no one in Australia managed to perform. However, majority of the players managed to retain their respective places with the only exception of Fasial Iqbal, who had to suffer the entire blunt.
Faisal staged a comeback in 2012 with continuous performances in the domestic circuit, where he scored loads of runs and the selectors were left with no other option but to recall him. But despite being recalled, he had to carry drinks for the players as the 12th man for Eight Test matches. All his efforts and hard work was spoiled due to sheer negligence on the part of the PCB and their panel of the selectors, who punished Faisal just because of being a relative of Miandad.
Faisal remained the top run getter for PIA in the domestic cricket for last five years who scored highest runs while batting as middle order. No one could even come near to him as far as scoring runs were concerned. Faisal had scored 1100 runs in 26 Tests and had played only 18 ODIs in such a long career, which speaks itself injustice being done to this highly-rated player, who has ability to resolve Pakistan teams batting woes in the middle order.
Faisal was never given a permanent batting order as he was made to bat at different positions, which hampered his progress. He should have been sent to bat in the middle order, a place best suited to not only Fasial but also the team. But he was forced to bat at unusual numbers reasons best known to the team management and captains.
Some certain quarters too much criticised Fasial and were reluctant to give him even due credit when he performed exceptionally and that too on consistent basis. Faisal is in his early 30s and Pakistan team needs a seasoned player like him to strengthen middle order. Instead of wasting time on experiments, the PCB should give him chance to ease burden on aging Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. Personal scores should be settled but not at the country's cost.