Dictating terms role of Inzamam in team selection bothering PCB



Pakistan cricket team’s captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has slowly assumed an all-powerful role in the selection process of the national team and not everybody within the cricket set-up is happy about it.

‘The News’ has gathered that some of the senior Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) officials are not too pleased with the way things are going as far as the selection procedure is concerned and want the national selection committee to be more assertive than it has been in recent times.

According to Board insiders, Inzamam has been playing an influential role in team selection “to the point of dictating terms” by overruling recommendations made by the selection committee and almost handpicking players in the squad.

Till now Inzamam’s authority has been acceptable to the PCB officials as there haven’t been any outrageous decisions on part of the skipper but Inzamam’s all-out backing for aging leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed in recent days has rubbed some of them the wrong way.

Inzamam has recently said Mushtaq would be considered for selection in Pakistan’s 16-man squad for the tour of England if medium pacer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan is ruled of the series because of a groin injury.

Mushtaq, who turns 36 later this month, was apparently also discussed by the skipper and chief selector Wasim Bari before the announcement of the team with the latter making it clear that he will not support the leg-spinner’s inclusion in the squad.

It made sense because Mushtaq has already past his prime and is unlikely to pose many problems for the English batsmen if selected to play in the four-match Test series. He has done well in recent outings for English County Sussex but it would be a different ball game against a capable English team in the Tests.

Inzamam, apparently, believes Mushtaq could be an asset for Pakistan mainly because Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan helped his team draw against England earlier this season.

But there is a world of a difference between the calibres of the two players and considering that Mushtaq played his last Test almost three years back, chances are dim that he would be able to pull off any Murali-like magic against England.

Inzamam, according to the sources, is being actively backed by Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis in supporting Mushtaq’s recall. The thorny issue could turn into a confrontation between Bari and Inzamam if Rana is ruled out of the tour of England because of the groin problem. Rana should know about his fate after being examined by a specialist in London today (Monday).

Some of the Board officials are of the view that the selectors to show some guts and block Mushtaq’s expected comeback in the squad.

With the World Cup less than a year away, they would like to see more players to feature in the lead up to the prestigious contest in the West Indies who can play a role in Pakistan’s campaign to regain the world title. Mushtaq, they believe, is not one of them.
Source:The News

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