Indian media trades in Inzamam’s strange absence

Written by Kashif Aziz on April 19th, 2006   (148 views)

Sections of the Indian media took aim at the Pakistan cricket team on Tuesday after the mysterious absence of captain Inzamam-ul-Haq from the official launching ceremony of the two One-day Internationals (ODIs) against India in Abu Dhabi and also from the traditional meeting with the match referee.

Sections of the Indian media played on the theory of some problems in the Pakistan camp and highlighted the fact that neither the coach Bob Woolmer nor the chef de mission Saleem Altaf were aware of the reasons behind Inzamam skipping both the events.

The Indian media was perhaps also miffed as Inzamam also failed to show up for the mandatory pre-match captain’s conference.

Inzamam skipped the match referee’s meeting and the press conference. He remained untraceable thereafter, according to team sources. “He has been unavoidably delayed,” coach Bob Woolmer said after Inzamam failed to turn up in time for the mandatory pre-match captains’ press conference.

An example of how sections of the Indian media played up this issue is evident from the following extracts from a leading newspaper: “A few discordant notes were heard in the Pakistan camp as they face India in the first of the two-match desert jamboree today.

Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq did not come during the unveiling of the trophy — DLF Cup yesterday afternoon — and Chef de Mission Saleem Altaf was at a loss of words to describe the skippers absence.” Another one said “Altaf clueless.”

When this correspondent tried to find out the reason behind Inzamam’s absence the word was that he apparently was not informed about the proper timings and venues of the above commitments and he was very upset about this with the team management.

But it seems rather strange that the Pakistan captain would not be aware of the timings of the match referee’s meeting or the launching ceremony of the series when the Indians were present at both events. In fact, Altaf was quoted as saying in an Indian newspaper: “I really do not know why he did not come. He knew the time and venue.”

According to agencies, Woolmer also seemed to be ignorant about his captain’s whereabouts. “He has been unavoidably delayed,” said Woolmer, adding: “He is aware of the meeting with the press.”

Sources close to the Pakistan team were also quoted as saying: “It’s really strange, the referee’s meeting was very crucial.”

“We intimated him about the meeting but now we are unable to trace him. We are looking for him,” they said.

Only the Pakistan team management or best Inzamam himself can now best explain the reasons for his absence from these important functions because at the end of the day when the captain does not show up for the launching ceremony or the mandatory press conference it does not reflect well on Pakistan cricket.

Not surprisingly the Indian media also played up reported problems between Woolmer and Altaf with one newspaper reporting that a section of the Pakistan media put embarrassing questions to Woolmer.

“He was quizzed about his preference to go off to train youngsters in Dubai instead of being present for Pakistan’s final practice session in Lahore, and whether he had taken prior permission for the same.” “Woolmer did not hide his unhappiness at the queries,” the report said.

“I did not take any permission from Altaf but I did talk to Inzamam, who knew that I was coming here and he told me that he’d handle the practice session in my absence. So I came here,” said Woolmer.

Bottom line clearly someone has mucked up badly in Abu Dhabi on Monday and it would be in the interests of the team if the PCB chairman sorts out this issue and ensures that such things are not repeated by the captain or even officials in future.

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: Inzamam, Bob Woolmer, Abu Dhabi



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