ICL: Indian Cricket League

Asif Iqbal accuses cricket board over captaincy furore


Former Pakistan skipper Asif Iqbal says the country’s cricket bosses are to blame for the current captaincy furore. Younis Khan was asked to lead the team in the absence of Inzamam-ul-Haq but surprised everyone by refusing.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) turned to Mohammad Yousuf instead, but Iqbal said the situation was a mess and accused the board of failing its players.

“The PCB hasn’t done enough to groom these cricketers to know how to conduct themselves at this level,” he said.

“I honestly believe the blame has to be taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board, not only for this but for the fiasco that took place a few weeks ago.

“They have to conduct their own business in such a way that the players have enough confidence in the board to accept their decisions. It’s all about grooming. They are international cricketers, they are ambassadors and very high-profile people.

“It’s not good enough to walk out on to the pitch and score runs or take wickets. It’s more to do with how you represent yourself and how you represent your country.”

Inzamam received a ban of four One-day Internationals for leading his team’s refusal to play in the fourth Test against England at The Oval in August.

Younis was then appointed as stand-in for the ICC Champions Trophy but on Thursday said he did not want to be a “dummy captain” and relinquished the position.

It is thought the decision is linked to his displeasure at the conduct of certain players in the squad. But Iqbal said the way Younis went about announcing his decision had further damaged Pakistan cricket.

“I believe it’s nothing to do with being a dummy captain, it is more to do with something that he hasn’t disclosed yet,” Iqbal told Five Live.

“When it was announced it was time for him to say, ‘No thank you very much’. Obviously something has happened between then and now and it’s very unfortunate for Pakistan cricket.”

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer, meanwhile, has suggested that the attitude of some of the players was preventing them realising its full potential.

“Younis’s decision to turn down the captaincy shows a lack of attitude and we need to change this attitude if we want to be world-beaters,” said Woolmer.

“I fought for him in the team and helped him fight for his place against all odds, but his decision left me sad and disappointed. It seemed he could not take the pressure of captaincy.”

The 58-year-old Woolmer, a former England batsman who also coached South Africa, said he was now looking to the future.

“I am a firm believer that things happen for the good but we must learn quickly because the people of Pakistan have high expectations of this team and the World Cup is getting nearer,” he said.

“Pakistan must learn to live without Inzamam, who has been the binding force in recent years. Inzamam will not always be there, so others will have to show maturity.”

Pakistan’s first Champions Trophy match is against a qualifying team in Jaipur, India, on October 17 before meeting New Zealand (October 25) and South Africa (October 27).

Source:The News

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