Inzamam ul Haq blasts the same Zaka Ashraf who appointed him the Pakistan Chief Selector

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Former Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq who also served a brief tenure as Chief selector of the national team, has blamed Zaka Ashraf, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman who resigned from his role a couple of days ago, as the main culprit for Pakistan’s underwhelming performance during the ICC Cricket World Cup in India last year.

Inzamam ul Haq resigned from the main selector role mid-way through the Cricket World Cup on October 30th after Pakistan suffered back-to-back 4 losses after winning their first 2 games against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. The Green Army which was at that time under the leadership of Babar Azam, lost to India, Australia, Afghanistan, and then South Africa.

They ended their losing streak with a win against Bangladesh and then claimed a commanding victory against New Zealand before bowing down to England in their last league match. As a result, Pakistan finished 5th in the league table and failed to reach the knockout stages for the 3rd time running since playing the semi-finals against India in 2011.

Most of the blame for their shambolic performance was directed towards Inzamam ul Haq who relinquished his role just a day before Pakistan’s clash against Bangladesh. There were reports about the former Pakistan captain picking the team with Babar Azam and without the consideration of other selectors.

Zaka Ashraf too had blamed Inzamam for this and claimed there was a conflict of interest while selecting the team. The latter while resigning from the chief selector’s role stated, “I am stepping down from the post to offer the PCB the opportunity to conduct a transparent inquiry about the conflict of interest allegations raised in the media. If the committee finds me not guilty, I will resume my role as the chief selector.”

The apparent conflict of interest was in connection with a player management company named Yazo International Limited which handles players like Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan among others. Inzamam ul Haq was disheartened by these claims and he is still awaiting the investigation reports against him.

“His Comments Created A Negative Impact”, Inzamam ul Haq Lashes Out On Zaka Ashraf

Inzamam ul Haq has no love at all for Zaka Ashraf who made derogatory comments about him and the Pakistani team during the World Cup. Inzamam felt that was not the right time for him to make those comments as it created a negative atmosphere inside the dressing room, which is more or less a key factor behind a team’s performance.

“In an important event like the World Cup in India, hearing that the PCB chairman is saying the team selected was not done by the board but by the captain and chief selector only creates a negative mindset among the players.” – Inzamam said. 

After his resignation and after the World Cup, Babar Azam too stepped down from the captaincy role with Pakistan appointing Shan Masood as the Test captain and Shaheen Afridi as the T20 captain. There were also reports about some of the senior players unhappy with team director Mohammed Hafeez because he interfered in certain matters and the tension inside their dressing room has reflected on the pitch as well.

With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, it remains to be seen how Pakistan deals with all the noise around.

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