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Bari insists he is not being replaced

April 21, 2005 16:16 IST

The chairman of selectors of the Pakistan Cricket Board Wasim Bari expressed ignorance over media reports that his committee is being replaced.

"I have not heard anything like that. I was in India where I met top PCB officials and they didn't communicate or indicate anything to me," Bari said on Thursday.

Despite PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan's denial today, sources within the Board have confirmed that changes in the selection committee would be made but not before the West Indies tour.

"The selection committee will be replaced after they have announced the team for West Indies tour because there will be no cricket until November," PCB sources said.

"The popular feeling is that there should be a change of the chief selector and committee but the Board is reluctant to make any changes with just a few days left before the West Indies tour," Pakistan daily The News said.

"Bari didn't endear himself to many Board officials or Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq recently in India when he gave a statement there to various newspapers claiming that he was responsible for the victory in India, as he had backed the players selected in the team," the report added.

The Pakistan cricket team leaves on a month-long tour of the West Indies on May 7 where it will play two Tests and three one-dayers.

The local media has also reported that Iqbal Qasim, who is a member of the selection committee, would replace Bari who has already made public his differences with Bob Woolmer and Inzamam over selectorial matters.

Saleem Altaf, who is PCB's Director Cricket Operations, was last week quoted as saying that Bari's selection committee would be replaced by paid selectors.

"I will be discussing the West Indies tour team with my fellow selectors by the week end and probably next week, I will exchange notes with skipper Inzamam."

"At the moment, I can't tell you when we will announce the team or what would be the combination," said Bari, who has also been criticised by the media for taking credit for the team's success in India, explained.

Bari also dismissed reports that he did not watch the last one-day international in New Delhi in protest. A leading local daily had reported that Bari boycotted the match because he had been given low denomination tickets.

"It's a baseless allegation. I was in the stadium and watched the match with my friends. I didn't sit in the enclosure whose tickets were provided to me but I was definitely there.

"Stories that Inzamam gave me a cold shoulder or objected to my entry in the dressing room are not true. I didn't ask for place in the dressing room because I understand that dressing rooms are strictly for players where they discuss the match and prepare game plans.

"I don't think anyone except the players should be there during the course of the match," Bari, who watched the Kanpur one-dayer from the dressing room, said in his defence.

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