Published On:Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Posted by Chaudhry

Inzamam takes over as new chief selector with ‘authority’

Inzamam takes over as new chief selector with ‘authority’

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday formally appointed former captain and batting great Inzamamul Haq as its new chief selector, part of wholesale changes following the national squad’s disastrous exit from the Asia Cup in Bangladesh and the ICC World Twenty20 in India. Former spinner Tauseef Ahmad, all-rounder Wasim Haider and opener Wajahatullah Wasti will help Inzamam as members of his new selection committee. Addressing a news conference at Gaddafi Stadium here, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, flanked by Inzamam, told reporters that Inzamam agreed to take over as chief selector and the board was thankful to the Afghanistan Cricket Board for releasing him.
The 46 year old Inzamam resigned as Afghanistan coach on Sunday to take on his new job, arguably among the most thankless in the sport with the holder routinely shown the door unceremoniously following the team’s failure in a high profile event. This will be Inzamam’s first time as a selector; he had worked as Pakistan’s batting consultant briefly in 2012-13. The PCB has not set a fixed term for Inzamam’s tenure. Shaharyar said Inzamam’s tenure would be ‘until further orders’. Inzamam’s name came as a surprise as he defeated former Test cricketers Mohsin Khan, Iqbal Qasim and Moin Khan for the lucrative post. “We opted for Inzamam as we wanted to bring in someone who had played modern day cricket and who commanded total respect in the cricket circles,” added Shaharyar.
During his six months as Afghanistan’s coach, Inzamam led cricket’s up-and-comers to one-day and Twenty20 series victories over Zimbabwe and qualification for the main rounds of the World Twenty20 - the high point of which was their win over eventual champions the West Indies in the group stages. The selection committee first task will be to pick squads for the tour of England where they play four Tests, five one-day and a Twenty20 starting in July. A veteran of 120 Tests and 398 ODIs, Inzamam said he was ‘happy’ to serve Pakistan in any capacity. “I am happy to serve Pakistan cricket in any capacity. I am thankful to the PCB for offering me this post. I will try my best to do justice to with my job. I also want to thank the Afghanistan Cricket Board for allowing me to take on the national duty as the chief selector. I will also like to thank the Afghan players for cooperating with me during my six-month tenure as the head coach.” He said he requested the PCB to allow him to select his own panel. “I have shortlisted Tauseef, Wasim and Wasti as my team.”
Inzamam’s appointment comes in the wake of several changes in Pakistan cricket. His former team-mate Waqar Younis had stepped down as coach on April 4, a day after Shahid Afridi relinquished his T20 captaincy. This shake-up was the result of a poor 2016 for Pakistan. Performance reports from Waqar and team manager Intikhab Alam had made several points pertaining to selections. Waqar had suggested the chief selector ‘should be someone who has played modern-era cricket and has a positive vision’ and recommended Inzamam for the job.
Inzamam urged the people to be patient with the team. “I don’t have a magic wand and there is a lot we need to do right in Pakistan cricket to build a strong team.” Inzamam requested everyone to not expect result overnight. “We will have to stay calm for a while and not quick results. I hope people will see results in the near-future.” Inzamam, who was part of the 1992 ODI World Cup winning team, further said that the head coach, captain and chief selector would have to come on one page if they wanted to produce results. “We are here to support the team. We would listen to the opinion of the coach and captain. Our cricket is not at its peak right now. The captain, coach and selectors have to come on one page. If we want to improve our cricket, we will have to work together.” While commenting on former T20I captain Afridi, Inzamam said that he was still the star of Pakistan cricket and when the time came he would assess his form and then decide whether to play him or not. He also hoped that he would be allowed to work independently without any external pressure as the chief selector of the Pakistan team.
Inzamam is Pakistan’s highest run-getter in ODIs with 11701 runs in 375 matches, and their third-highest in Tests with 8829 runs in 119 matches. He was also among the country’s most distinguished captains and as chief selector he wants to make sure the captain remains the ‘main man.’ “My role as chief selector is different, when I was the captain I used to give my suggestions. Now, I will listen to captains too about what’s their suggestion. When I was the captain I used to have my say. The captain is the main man. Like how I used to give my suggestion, I will give importance to what captain and coach will say because they are the ones who matter inside the ground,” he concluded.

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