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Inzamam questions PCB over Hafeez sacking

March 04, 2024 15:33 IST

Inzamam-ul-Haq and Muhammud Hafeez

IMAGE: Inzamam-ul-Haq and Muhammud Hafeez. Photograph: Pakistan Cricket Board/X

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has criticised the country's cricket board for removing Muhammed Hafeez as Team Director due to recent poor results, asserting that it is unfair to "target" ex-players in administrative roles when officials are refusing to shoulder any responsibility for the side's performance.

The PCB had last month parted ways with Hafeez after a 0-3 Test defeat in Australia followed by a 1-4 T20 International series loss to New Zealand.


Hafeez's contract, initially short-term, concluded after the T20 series in New Zealand, following the sports ministry's recommendation against a long-term agreement.

"Can someone explain the reasoning behind removing Muhammad Hafeez as team director but retaining Wahab Riaz as chief selector after the Australian and New Zealand tours?" Inzamam said on a TV show.

"Weren't both appointed at same time and given same responsibilities so why has only Hafeez been held accountable and not Wahab Riaz?" he asked.

The former cricket great, who resigned as chief selector in acrimonious circumstances during last year's World Cup, also urged the PCB to start respecting players.

"The PCB Chairman no doubt is a highly respectable position but don't former captains and stalwarts deserve the same amount of respect from the top board officials," said Inzamam.

Inzamam alleged that during his dispute with the Board over conflict of interest allegations, he was shown no respect by former PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf.

"We had a meeting scheduled at the PCB offices after this story about me having a conflict of interest as chief selector broke out.

"I was sitting with (PCB officials) Salman Naseer and Aliya Rasheed waiting for the chairman to come," he recalled.

"But he went to the academy and from there called Naseer and Aliya to meet him and I was told to wait as he would not be seeing me. Only Aliya returned after a time and told me about the inquiry committee," he added.

Inzamam said the Ashraf's attitude was hurtful.

"I was hurt by this behaviour from the Chairman. Every detail of agents and their companies who work with players are available with ICC and PCB and it was not such a big deal and I told them I would resign and they can complete their inquiry," Inzamam stated.

The former skipper said he was still waiting for the PCB to release findings of the inquiry committee which probed into his conflict of interest case.

"Pakistan cricket cannot be run in this manner. It is time the board officials also accepted responsibility for their actions," he asserted.

Inzamam also said he never wanted to take over as chief selector before the Asia Cup last year as the previous selection committee had already picked the squad.

Rauf's central contract may be 'restored'

Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf's central contract may be "restored" after a review by the legal team of the country's Board, an official source in the PCB said on Monday.

Rauf's central contract was terminated two days before the start of Pakistan Super League for refusing to play in the three-Test series against Australia that they lost 0-3 in January.

An official source in the PCB said the legal team was reviewing Rauf's appeal which seeks the restoration of his central contract.

"There are chances that the appeal might be accepted, and his contract restored,” the source said.

Rauf is currently ruled out of the PSL with a dislocated shoulder. He sustained the injury during the third match of the PSL while playing for Lahore Qalandars.

After opting out of the Test series in Australia, Rauf went to play in the Big Bash around the same time.

But the PCB still included him for the five-match T20I series in New Zealand as the pacer last played for his country in the fourth match of the series in Christchurch.

The board while taking action also suspended issuance of NOCs to Haris for foreign leagues until June this year.

The source said Haris had submitted his appeal through his lawyer and given a complete statement, outlining his version of events that didn't allow him to play in the Tests in Australia.

The PCB however is not happy with the comments made by one of Rauf's PSL franchise owner Sameen Rana, according to the source.

Rana in an interview to a leading cricket website blasted the board for taking action against Rauf and said the timing of that announcement was unnecessary.

"Rauf's our premier bowler, our highest wicket-taker after Shaheen Afridi. To publicly humiliate him and issue a press release announcing the termination of his central contract, I have never seen this happen anywhere," Rana had said in the interview.

"I would never treat my employees like that. The employee at least has the right for you to call, email or message them. None of that happened with Rauf, and it was pathetic. It was really poor management,” Rana had added.

NZC security team arrives in Pakistan for reconnaissance ahead of Pak tour

A security delegation of New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has reached Pakistan to carry out a reconnaissance of the arrangements for the Kiwi side's tour in April to play a T20 series.

The delegation, which includes two members of the NZC and an independent security expert, arrived in Pakistan at the weekend to visit Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The five matches of the New Zealand series are scheduled to be played at Lahore and Pindi in mid-April.

"The security delegation will visit the match venues, hotels where teams will stay and also get briefings from government and security officials on the security plan for the visitors," a source in the Pakistan Cricket Board said.

The delegation also includes the CEO of the New Zealand Players Association.

The New Zealand team had returned home in September, 2021 without playing a match of its white-ball series in Pakistan after their government ordered them to come back after getting knowledge about a credible threat against the squad.

New Zealand, which is expected to be depleted by the absence of key players due to the Indian Premier League taking place at the same time, is scheduled to arrive on April 14, with the first T20I match scheduled to be played on April 18.

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