London [UK]: After stepping down as the chief-selector of Pakistan, Inzamam-ul-Haq advocated the need for appointing long-term captains, saying switching captains series-by-series is not a feasible option.
“Since being made captain, Sarfaraz has done well but had mixed performances. It’s not my decision to keep him or remove him; that question needs to be asked of the relevant decision-makers. But captaincy is about a leader who must be expected to have enough confidence to be able to pass it on to his team,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Inzamam as saying.
“I personally believe this series-by-series captaincy isn’t a feasible option and I am all for long-term captaincy. Whoever you name as captain, it’s a hard choice. But then he should be supported 100 percent and given ample time and that’s very important. All successful captains in the world have had long-term roles to make a difference,” he added.
Imam-ul-Haq’s inclusion into the Pakistan team in 2017 created a lot of controversy as the player is Inzamam’s nephew and Pakistan has been often criticised of nepotism. Some people had Imam’s inclusion a little hard to digest as he is Inzamam’s nephew.
Inzamam cleared the air about Imam’s inclusion into the team, saying he was never the one to push for the left-hander’s inclusion as he claimed that batting coach Grant Flower had first brought up of bringing Imam into the national side.
“When he was first picked up for the international team not many know this, that it was Grant Flower who first came up to me to say he had been watching Imam score runs in domestic cricket. Then, head coach Mickey Arthur took up his case with the selection committee,” Inzamam said.
“Many people raised questions about his selection but when his name came up in selection I kept quiet and let others decide about him. So when you say that his selection is because of me, that’s inappropriate, because the team is not made by me alone. It was by the head coach and captain so why not question them,” he added.
Inzamam also reminded people that he wasn’t there as a chief-selector when Imam got selected in the under-19 side in 2012 or when he went on to become the vice-captain of that team in 2014.
“His selection for me and him has been very critical for each other. But I want to remind people who had been making this an issue that when I wasn’t the part of PCB in any capacity in 2012, he was selected in Pakistan’s Under-19 squad. In 2014, he was named vice-captain for the Under-19 World Cup and this formed a pathway to international cricket,” Inzamam said.
“He has scored runs and earned his place in the team. He did well and in the 36 ODIs he’s played so far as an opener, he averages over 50, which hasn’t been achieved by anyone yet. So I think he should be regarded the same as everyone else,” he added.
On Wednesday. Inzamam-ul-Haq had announced that he will step down from the position after the completion of his tenure, scheduled to end on July 30.
“I think it is time to step down, I will complete my term that ends on July 30,” Inzamam had said.
Inzamam-ul-Haq also stated that he has informed PCB regarding this and thanked the Pakistan cricket governing body for respecting his decisions.
“When I returned [from the United Kingdom], I told the PCB that I did not want to continue with my position. I joined in 2016 and have spent a good time here. Now, I have decided that new people should come, with new thinking and ideas. I thank the PCB and the team who respected my choices,” he said.
However, former Pakistan cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haq said that he is open for any other role apart from selection.
“I am a cricketer, this is my bread and butter. If the board offers me another role, apart from selection, I would consider it,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said.
Pakistan finished on the fifth position on the points table of the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup after the conclusion of league matches. Pakistan and New Zealand both had 11 point but due to lower Net Run Rate (NRR), Kane Williamson-side qualified for the semi-finals.
“Pakistan defeated the two finalists, won four matches. But they were unlucky that they were ruled out [from the semifinals] due to the NRR [net run-rate],” stated Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Moreover, Inzamam-ul-Haq said that the final decision is made by coach and captain while adding that if a player does not perform then that does not imply that the selection was wrong.
“The 11 [players] who play in the team are decided by the captain and coach; they can take my advice but the decision is theirs. Shoaib Malik has played for us for a long time; it happens sometimes that the player selected does not perform — it does not mean the selection was wrong or the player is bad,” he said.
Despite Pakistan’s substandard performance in the premier tournament, Inzamam-ul-Haq is optimistic about the future as he said: “Twenty youngsters are playing right now and it seems like they will play for Pakistan for the next 15-20 years and will win victories.”