ICL: Indian Cricket League

Inzamam will be back as skipper for WI home series


inzamamPakistan’s new cricket chief Dr Nasim Ashraf on Monday removed any doubts over Inzamam-ul-Haq’s future as the national team’s skipper by making it clear that the aging batsman would be back at the helm for the home series against West Indies later this year.

In a bid to bring some order to the chaotic state of Pakistan cricket, Ashraf held a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) meeting in Lahore on Monday and later announced that Inzamam would be back as Pakistan captain after serving a four-match International Cricket Council (ICC) ban over The Oval fiasco.

Inzamam was banned by the ICC after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute by refusing to take the field in The Oval Test against England this summer. The ICC ban has effectively ruled Inzamam out of the ICC Champions Trophy under progress in India where his deputy Younis Khan would be leading Pakistan’s quest for the first Champions Trophy crown.

Younis Khan’s appointment as captain came after a series of shocking incident that jolted Pakistan cricket last week and seem set to haunt it in the days to come. The prolific batsman was an automatic choice to lead Pakistan in the absence of Inzamam but refused to accept the job by saying that he did not want to be a dummy captain. The outgoing PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan replaced him with Mohammad Yousuf but later resigned blaming the Younis Khan fiasco as one of the reasons for his decision to quit as the PCB chief.

He was succeeded by Nasim Ashraf who quickly reinstated Younis as Pakistan captain for the ICC Champions trophy just hours before the departure of the national team to India. The quick turn of events and speculations that the new board chief was not a big supporter of Inzamam’s captaincy led to rumours that the seasoned player might have lost his job as skipper for good.

But the PCB chairman made it clear that he has no such designs for Inzamam by saying that the batsman would lead Pakistan in the home Test and one-day series against West Indies later this year.

However, Ashraf fell short of appointing Inzamam as Pakistan’s captain for a period long enough for the player to lead the team in the 2007 World Cup in West Indies. He said that it would be Inzamam’s form and fitness that would decide whether he would be asked to lead Pakistan in the World Cup. Ashraf said that the World Cup captaincy issue would be decided after the series against the West Indies.

The PCB chief announced that the Board would go ahead with the plans of appointing paid selectors after the World Cup. The previous officials of the Board had been pondering over the idea of replacing honorary national selection committee with a group of paid officials in a bid to improve the current selection process.

Ashraf also hosted a reception for the outgoing PCB chief Shaharyar Khan in Lahore. Speaking at the occasion, Shaharyar said that during his regime the Board was able to bring a fighting spirit in the national cricket team.
Source:The News

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