ICL: Indian Cricket League

Selectors may recommend Inzamam for lowest pay scale


Pakistani selectors may recommend former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for a central contract but in the lowest pay category because of a plethora of reasons, ‘The News’ learnt here on Tuesday.

Sources say that though the selectors are divided on whether to recommend Inzamam for a central contract, they might finally include him in a 30-man list to be submitted to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) next week.

However, if such a gesture comes from the selectors, it will have a catch. They would advice the PCB against retaining Inzamam on the highest slab in the central contract system and would in fact include him in the list of players they deem merely good enough for the lowest pay scale — Grade C.

The PCB has asked the national selectors to submit a list of 30 players which they believe should get central contracts. The Board would then pick the best 20 for new central contracts to be awarded from July 1.

Pakistan suspended the previous central contracts of their players in the aftermath of the national team’s disastrous World Cup campaign in March and announced that they would give new ‘performance-based’ contracts in July. In the previous pay structure that was based on a players’ seniority, Inzamam, being the team’s senior most member, was one of its highest earners.

Sources say that the selectors would consider three aspects of a player before recommending him for either of the three pay scale categories in the new central contracts system.

The chief criterion would be the players’ performance during the past 12 months. Inzamam, 37, has gone through a lean patch of form in recent times and is unlikely to get enough marks on his performance.

The next aspect would be of player’s fitness and here too Inzamam, who has a suspect back, is unlikely to impress the selectors much as he has had fitness problems in recent years.

The third and perhaps the most important aspect would be the player’s utility in Pakistan’s Test and One-day International (ODI) squads in the coming 12 months. Inzamam cannot score much in this area either, as he has already retired from ODI cricket and would only be available for Tests.

Meanwhile, Inzamam is highly unlikely to make a 20-man list to be announced today by the selectors for a training camp to be held in Abbottabad from June 10. Sources said that the selectors would be picking players with an eye on a couple of ODI games Pakistan are to play in Scotland next month and especially the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa in September. Inzamam is unavailable for both the assignments because of his decision to retire from one-dayers.

Sources said that the aging maestro would be invited for a training camp to be held in September after the Twenty20 World Cup. The camp would be staged in preparations for a home series against South Africa this fall. Inzamam, who is keen to keep alive his Test career, will have to prove his form and fitness in a bid to earn the selectors’ nod for inclusion in Pakistan’s Test squad.

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