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Ganguly's omission was a unanimous decision, says Majid Khan

Karachi: Reacting to Sourav Ganguly's outburst over his exclusion from the Asian team for the three-match series against Africa, an Asian selector said the decision to omit the Indian player was a unanimous one.

Former Pakistan captain Majid Khan, one of the four selectors in the Asian panel, also said speedster Shoaib Akhtar was picked for his star value.

``Ganguly's omission was a unanimous decision of the selectors and his recent performances were given due consideration,'' Majid told PTI from Islamabad.

Ganguly averaged 32 with 947 runs from 31 one-dayers last year while in four matches this year, he has scored 18 runs.

``Akhtar has been picked because of his star value. The only question mark against his name was fitness and now since he is playing county cricket, he gets a place in the side.

``He has also been included because the selectors thought the team needed a genuine fast bowler for South African conditions,'' Majid explained.

Akhtar has not played any international cricket since returning halfway through the Australian tour earlier this year. He also missed the Indian and West Indies tours due to injuries.

He is currently playing for Worcestershire in the English county circuit where his only notable performance so far has been a six for 47 effort.

Based on merit

``We carefully studied the performance of all the players, including Ganguly. The team has been selected purely on merit. I don't think any selection panel would have selected a different team,'' Majid, a former PCB Chief Executive, said.

``I understand that some of the top players have not made it to the side. But this is certainly not the last time. It's an incentive for them to perform and get back into the team. Not selecting them in the Asian side doesn't mean that their skills, talent and potential have not been recognised.''

Majid dispelled the notion that players not making the side still had a chance to win a seat to South Africa.

``The best 15 players have been selected and only they will go to South Africa. If chances have to be made, the standbys will get the first priority.''

Majid refuted claims that that cricket Boards had nominated players. — PTI

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