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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Inzamam resigns as PCB chief selector over conflict of interest

Inzamam resigns as PCB chief selector over conflict of interest

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 30, 2023 21:28 IST
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IMAGE: Questions were raised after it emerged that Inzamam-ul Haq is a partner in the UK registered company, in which one of his partners represents more than a dozen Pakistani players as their agent. Photograph: Pakistan Cricket Board/X

The legendary Inzamam-ul Haq has resigned as chairman of the national selection committee after the Pakistan Cricket Board initiated an inquiry to probe if his association with a company that manages a number of the national team’s players pertains to conflict of interest.

The PCB has formed a five-member committee to probe Inzamam's role in the company – Yazoo International -- where he shares the same agent who manages captain Babar Azam, pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan.

 

As a result, in the middle of the World Cup, Inzamam was forced to send his resignation to the PCB even as he maintained that his association with agent and partner Talha Rehmani has never affected or compromised his decision-making as a selector.

"I have sent my resignation as I feel the role of a chief selector is that of a judge and I thought it is best to step aside till this inquiry is going on," Inzamam said on Samaa TV.

"I select the Pakistan team and I don't want questions to be raised because of my role in this company," he added.

The PCB announced constituting a panel to look into the whole episode.

"Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set up a five-member fact-finding committee to investigate allegations in respect of conflict of interest reported in the media pertaining to the team selection process.

"The committee will submit its report and any recommendations to the PCB management in an expeditious manner," the board announced through X, formerly Twitter.

Questions were raised after it emerged that Inzamam is a partner in the UK registered company, in which one of his partners is presently representing more than a dozen Pakistani players as their agent.

Rizwan is also a partner in the company, formed in December 2020.

PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf said in an interview on Sunday that Inzamam and Rizwan being partners in a company with Talha Rehmani, who is the agent for several players, is in direct conflict of interest and the issue would be probed.

But Inzamam made it clear that his involvement in the company had no bearing on the selection of players.

"I have been involved in this company since 2020 and I have known Talha for many years and he has looked after my commercial interests. This has not interfered in my selection decisions," he said.

Inzamam said he was hurt that his integrity had been brought into question.

Inzamam was appointed as chief selector in August ahead of the Asia Cup and the World Cup on a monthly salary of 2.5 million.

Former Test stalwarts, Shahid Afridi and Mushtaq Ahmed, who were on Samaa TV, backed Inzamam's decision and said there was nothing greater than self-respect and reputation.

"Inzamam has taken the right decision to step aside," Afridi said.

Mushtaq said in the last few days there had been a lot of allegations made against Inzamam and the people making accusations should now prove them.

Ashraf didn't mince words by saying that given the facts about the company before the PCB it indicated that Rehmani could have influenced selection of players in the Pakistan team.

"We can't rule that out (influencing selection) and that is why we will look into this matter. But with Inzamam being the chief selector and Talha his partner there is a clear conflict of interest and it worries us.

“What is of more concern for us is that this agent who is registered with the board has contracts with so many players who play for Pakistan or are in line to play for the national side," he said.

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