The PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan has to make an undesirable decision to appoint former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq as the chief selector. Media reports claim that the directives came from the Patron-in-Chief, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. It is absolutely outlandish! Nawaz Sharif, battling with Panama Leaks, was in London for medical check-up when Shaharyar was announcing the unwanted appointment flanked by Inzamam. There are reports that pressure of Tablighi Jammat of Raiwind also played a pivotal role in Inzamam’s appointment.
Inzamam was never a choice Shaharyar had ever imagined for the chief selector. His animosity for Inzamam is not hidden from any ardent follower of cricket. In his book “Cricket Cauldron: The Turbulent Politics of Sport in Pakistan” he had recorded some adverse remarks about the former captain who, according to the book, was against including educated cricketers in his team. Shaharyar had also mentioned names of Misbah-ul-Haq, Bazid Khan and Hasan Raza in the book who became victims of Inzamam’spetite mental approach. Shaharyar had other valid reasons to dislike Inzamam who had refused to re-enter the field after tea in The Oval Test on 20 August, 2006 following allegations of ball tampering from umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove and became the first captain in history to forfeit a Test match. Incidentally, Shaharyar was the chief of PCB who looked visibly perturbed (on tv screen) a tInzamam’s attitude.
Though Afghanistan Cricket Board has relieved Inzamam from their team’s coaching yet their reaction is meaningful. “We are disappointed with this development and advertise for hiring a head coach.Our top priority is an Indian coach”, the ACB President Nasim Danish said in a statement. However, heleft the window open for another Pakistan stalwart and added: “If our top priority from India does not work out well, Younis Khan will be consulted”.
Pakistan has been trying hard on diplomatic front to contain Indian influence in Afghanistan. Inzamam’s resignation from the coaching job for Afghanistan Cricket Board has seriously jolted these efforts. Darbaris around the Patron-in-Chief who actually advocated Inzamam’s appointment have brutally undermined Pakistan’s diplomatic endeavours to check Indian influence in Afghanistan. Even Shaharyar, supposed to be a seasoned diplomat, couldn’t dare to talk to the Patron to change his decision. All they have given Afghan cricket in Indian hands. India has won without making any effort.
Coming back to Inzamam. Unlike Imran Khan, Inzamam, as captain, was a dictator without head. No player had ever dared to go against his dictates. Selection of national team for the England tour would be the first test of his abilities in a different role. Will he consider and select those players who are not participating in the Pakistan Super Cup? Time will judge. Tauseef Ahmed, being senior most in the selection committee and a known Yes Man, would hardly give any resistance to his junior boss. Mediocre Wajahatullah Wasti and unknown Waseem Haider would be at the mercy of their chief. If as chief selector, Inzamam continued with his dictatorial trait it would be disastrous for national cricket. It would be very interesting to see Inzamam interacting with Misbah-ul-Haq on the selection of team for the England tour. His abhorrence for Misbah in his hey days is known to all who follow national cricket closely. One hopes that Inzamam has learned tolerance, brotherhood, love and respect for other Muslims during his Tablighi activities.