Thursday, 22 August 2019 12:28 GMT

Inzamam steps down, says Pak cricket needs fresh ideas

(MENAFN - Arab Times)


Roy set to make England Test debut against Ireland

(Agencies): Pakistan cricket's chief selector Inzamam

    Haq says he will
    not stay in the job after his contract ends July 31.

    'I want fresh people to come with
    fresh ideas and take Pakistan cricket forward,' Inzamam said Wednesday.

    The Pakistan Cricket Board may
    not have renewed Inzamam's contract, anyway, after Pakistan failed to advance
    to the semifinals at the Cricket World Cup. It finished with the same number of
    points – 11 – as fourth-place New Zealand but the Black Caps qualified on
    superior net run-rate and lost to England in Sunday's final.

    'After more than three years as
    chairman (of the selection committee), I have decided not to seek a renewal of
    my contract,' Inzamam said.

    The former Pakistan Test captain
    said he wanted the next chief selector to have enough time to prepare the team
    for the next Cricket World Cup in 2023 in India.

    Inzamam was appointed chief
    selector in 2016 and during his tenure Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in
    England in 2017 – beating India by 180 runs – and have been on top of the
    Twenty20 rankings since January 2018.

    Inzamam met with Pakistan Cricket
    Board chairman Ehsan Mani and managing director Wasim Khan on Monday and told
    them his decision not to extend his contract.

    Since the retirement of batsmen

      Haq and Younis Khan in 2017, a number of players have made their
      international debuts, including opening batsman Fakhar Zaman, leg-spinner
      Shadab Khan and fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi, during Inzamam's
      tenure as chief selector.

      However, Inzamam faced criticism
      when he selected his nephew – left-handed opening batsman Imam

        Haq – in

        But Inzamam defended his
        selection, saying his nephew deserved respect like any other Pakistan player.

        'Imam was first picked for
        Pakistan's Under-19 team in 2012 when I was not the chief selector,' he said.

        'He was again picked as the
        vice-captain of the Under-19 team which played the World Cup in 2014.

        'So he came through the system
        and nothing else. He should be given respect like we give to any other Pakistan

        Imam has scored 1,692 runs in
        ODIs since making his debut in 2017 at an impressive average of 54.58. However,
        the left-hander's Test figures are less impressive: 10 Test matches, 483 runs
        at an average of 28.41.

        Inzamam also defended Pakistan's
        performance in the recent World Cup despite starting off badly against the West
        Indies – when Pakistan were all out for 105 - and also losing to arch-rivals
        India and Australia.

        'We knew we needed to improve our
        net run-rate drastically,' he said.

        'But the wickets got difficult as
        the tournament progressed and it's evident from the fact that England found it
        difficult to chase down even 241 runs in the final,' he said.

        Inzamam said he never dropped a
        player for personal reasons during his three-year tenure as chief selector, but
        'I am also a human being and can make mistakes.'

        'The team could have performed
        better during my time than the results reflect,' he said.

        'I may have inadvertently
        overlooked some potentially deserving players, but I have always had the best
        interests of Pakistan cricket foremost in my heart.

        'I hope the passionate Pakistan
        cricket fans will understand and can see this in my decisions.'

        Opening batsman Jason Roy
        has been named in England's Test squad for the first time for the one-off match
        against Ireland starting at Lord's next Wednesday.

         Roy racked up 443 runs in England's triumphant
        50-overs World Cup campaign, but is not a regular top-order batsman for Surrey
        in red-ball cricket.

         The 28-year-old is expected to open the
        batting with Surrey teammate Rory Burns and will have an
        opportunity to impress the selectors ahead of the Ashes series against
        Australia starting on Aug 1.

        Somerset all-rounder Lewis
        Gregory has also been called up for the first time, while uncapped
        fast bowler Olly
        Stone, who picked up an injury on this year's tour of West Indies,
        returned to the squad.

        England's leading wicket-taker
        James Anderson was included, despite picking up a calf injury this month.

        England World Cup winners Jos Buttler
        and Ben
        Stokes were rested for the Ireland Test but have been included in a
        16-man pre-Ashes training camp this weekend.

         Fast bowlers Mark Wood and Jofra Archer
        were not considered for selection because both players have suffered side

        Wood has been ruled out for four
        to six weeks while Archer will have a period of rest before being considered
        for Ashes selection.

        England squad: Joe Root
        (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Stuart
        Broad, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Jack Leach, Jason Roy,
        Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.


Inzamam steps down, says Pak cricket needs fresh ideas


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