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PCB sacks Aamir Sohail

January 22, 2004 22:22 IST

National selection committee chairman Aamir Sohail was sacked on Thursday by the Pakistan Cricket Board and replaced by another former cricketer, Wasim Bari, even as the country gears up to host eternal rivals India in March.

A PCB statement said former Test captain Wasim Bari has been appointed chairman of the selection committee.

Iqbal Qasim, Sultan Rana and Ehtshamuddin were named as new members of the panel, which has been asked to take on its responsibilities immediately.

Iqbal Qasim, who is convener of the Junior Selection Committee, will act as a link between the senior and junior committees, the statement added.

The announcement coincided with the arrival of the national cricket team from New Zealand, where it enjoyed mixed success, winning the Test series 1-0 and losing the one-day series 4-1

Bari had quit as chief selector after Pakistan's debacle in the World Cup last year. The then PCB chief, retired Gen Tauqir Zia, appointed tough-talking Sohail as chief selector while also re-appointing former batsman Javed Miandad as coach, and another former cricketer, Ramiz Raja, as the Chief Executive of the Board. However, strains were visible in the new set-up as Sohail and Miandad openly quarreled over selection recently when New Zealand toured the country.

Things came to boil as Inzamaul Haq, who replaced Rashid Latif as captain, joined Miandad and snubbed Sohail, who was considered to be close to Zia.

Sohail appeared isolated when Zia suddenly quit two months ago citing personal reasons. Zia was replaced by former diplomat Shaharyar Khan by Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, who is also the Patron of the PCB, hoping to clear up the mess well before the much-awaited cricket series at home with India.

PCB sources said the return of Bari could change the complexion of the team, with some of the old greats like Waqar Younis getting a chance to play again.

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