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May 18, 2007

World Cup 2007

Inzy takes the rap

Kamran Abbasi
Inzamam-ul-Haq appears at the National Assembly in Islamabad to explain Pakistan's World Cup performance, April 9, 2007
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The Pakistan cricket board of inquiry has delivered its verdict: It was all Inzy’s fault. Yes there were a few nuances like the board itself messed up preparations for the World Cup, an amusing conclusion since sitting judge Salim Altaf was one of those who presided over the campaign. And, as is traditional of Pakistani inquiries of this nature, there was no evidence of match fixing or spot fixing or fixing anything in particular.

It was thoroughly decent of the inquiry to get the sordid business of the World Cup out of the way before Pakistan toss off against Sri Lanka. Now Shoaib Malik’s team can think about the job of resurrecting Pakistan as a competitive cricket team—which is exactly what they were a year ago.

The rot set in during the tour of England when Inzy’s troublesome ways were being openly discussed by people close to the team. The cricket board, of course, should have managed Inzamam to maximise the chances of Pakistan winning the World Cup, instead Dr Ashraf spent his time maximising his own chances of remaining chairman of the board.

Hence, while Inzy must take a fair share of the blame for the disaster, the strength of the inquiry’s damnation is somewhat out of proportion with Inzy’s sin. An employee only persists in destructive behaviour if an employer allows him to. The World Cup failure was as much down to Dr Ashraf as it was dictated by Mr ul Haq.

Which leaves us wondering where Inzy goes next? How much of this can a man take? This winter has to be his last in Pakistan colours. Whether he plays one Test, one series, or one full domestic season of international cricket, Inzamam ul-Haq must name his date to go—and stick to it. A time limit will help the succession and let’s hope it helps restore his dignity.

Careers are marked with successes and failures, rights and wrongs, blame and absolution, heroes become villains, and villains become scapegoats. The end should be a moment to celebrate, but to celebrate properly we have to know when the end will come.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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Posted by ali admani on (May 22, 2007, 21:12 GMT)

inzamam was never at fault ...he tried his level best but unfortunately was incapable of handeling this task...he might have been a talented batsman but definately not a good leader or captain.He was not a quick learner and did everything 2 overs late ..in a one day match 2 balls can cost you a match 2 overs can get you out of a match...his dictatorship is the failiure of the board and they should share the responsibility for this debacle..i felt that we needed a change after the oval fiasco ...well it dint happen...inzamams biggest problem was that besides being a very slow learner he was very negative and his negativity could have been a major cause for this debacle as well...a leader has to lead from the front ...not in inzys case..i mean it would be fair to say that he could not play the new ball that was one of the reaons that inspite of so much criticism he never moved up the order..because he knew that he dint have what it took to face the new ball...i personally think that the game that we lost against the wi was a disaster they did not judge the pitches properly and kept on thinking that west indiees was pakistan which wasnt the case 240-250 was quite a chase and they under estimated it....well when u have captains who have the balls to play a junk player like rana who desnt even deserve to be in the leagues again and again ...a player who fullfilled the batsmans dreams by making 24-25 runs in an over a norm...well dint u guys see the beard that rana was growing during the w.c that was the base of his selection...as far as the match against ireland is concerned....i dont think that any pakistani team would have made beyond 150 against any opposition on that pitch ...we cant play on these pitches period...if we want to play on these pitched we will have to make pitches like that from the grass root levels....well as far as the bowling in concerned it was definately under par ...i thought on a pitch which moved for the entire 80-90 overs pakistan should have managed to get rid of ireland on half the score..they dint pitch it on the right areas ..they pitched shorter and instead of allowing the pitch to do the damage they over tried and made survival easier for the opponent....not choosing kaneria was another disater from inzamam knowing that ireland is a minnow they would not have been able to deal with spin on a bouncy track....well inzamam is a genius like i said...he definately deserves the full blame but the selectors whoudl be equally blamed for appointing him captain...... he event threw away waqar who was responsible for improving our bowling in his short tenure..as gul and co were bowling well...good yorkers etc...but he replaced him with a spin genius ..with a beard you know what the criteria of selection was

Posted by srivathsan on (May 22, 2007, 6:31 GMT)

KAMRAN, for once i felt sad reading your column.Iam not disputing your points but it was a bit harsh on inzy.I agree with JAVED A KHAN that whose fault was it that board people were taking orders from inzy ? Now he is down that board is distancing themselves from him . When did they notice that he was a dictator ? after WC ? Why did they not consel/instrut/warn him earlier ?The only fault i find in him is spreding the tableeghi culture. The board & the people around him made him dictotorial by boosting his ego & playing to his tunes.Not withstanding all this see his contribution to pakistan cricket.He has singlehandely won many many matches for pakistan.No other subcontinental player has achieved this feat with very few exceptions like zaheer abbas,javed miandad,GR visvanath,Desilva & dravid.He deserves an honourable exit.It would have been nice had the board called him in person & explained the reasons as why he cannot continue in the interet of pakistan cricket & offered him an honourable exit rather than making it public.See how cric. australia offered steave waugh the exit.At least now such a thing can be planned.WHATEVER MAY BE HIS PERSONAL WEAKNESS,HE REMAINS ONE OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS ,THE WORLD HAS PRODUCED.

Posted by Muhammad on (May 21, 2007, 11:45 GMT)

At the end of the day, Inzimam-ul-Haq was a big fat nonsense guy who never knew what was going on in the middle when it came to bowling changes and field placements. Even after playing with Imran Khan and Wasim Akram for so long...he didn't learn the art of captaincy. Shame on him. Only saying bismillah all the time doesn't make the cricketer a good captain also.

Posted by Sajjad on (May 21, 2007, 5:48 GMT)

well Inzy iz a great player. . . there'z NO doubt abt dat but dis nt da way which our PCB did. we 've alot respect 4 INZY and if our team collapsed in WC it doesnt mean u forgit all the prevoius things but our NATION. . . (Nation n Nation could nt ever ne evre n never b CHANGED) Thay r still sick. Really dtas ture! we shud b face ashemed b4 . . . . . and i want 2 add one thing dat I think our team management should changed. They are nt da well cricketerz altough they doesnt know abt da A,B,C Cricket. and they sitin on Top Mangement. WHEN n WHEN our policy'z changed and da gud Crickter'z personalities come? "GOD BLESS OUR MANAGEMENT"

Posted by Umar Khan on (May 20, 2007, 20:51 GMT)

Not very long ago Inzi was praised for being the Ambassador of Pakistan when the his team visited India and was hailed as the true leader ... why do we forget all the good that he has given to Pakistan cricket, shame on the committee who blames Inzi for the WC failure. Inzi is a great player and it will ages for Pakistan to produce another great like him, the team makes a leader and a leader makes a team ... here probably the equation didnt go well either side, but has anyone thought of the World Cup format?? This was the most stupid format I have ever seen, how can a team be out from a World Cup by just playing 2 matches?? Now for Inzi, if he would have lost two matches in a row in any ODI series and would have won the remaining matches, people would have never noticed and Inzi would have still been the great captain as he always was and will always be!! it is the politics and the likes of team manager etc who are to be blamed for the WC failure not Inzi.... NEVER!!!

Posted by Danish Khan on (May 20, 2007, 18:48 GMT)

Unfair to Inzamam! Yes, I agree in his flaws as a leader, but that was his style. A style, that has also won Pakistan many series! It is unfortunate the way it all turned out for us at the Cup, and the events that preceded that do not come down solely on Inzamam.

Posted by javed khan on (May 20, 2007, 17:12 GMT)

very funny indeed/ pakistan is a country run by a dictator not a democratic country. how else do you expect the cricket team to run? as inzi says the way it is meant to be,, all previous captains were the same. imran khan, wasim akram waqar younuis, they were all sort of dictators in a way. do you not all agree?

Posted by Bilal Shah on (May 20, 2007, 13:30 GMT)

People (most notably PCB officials) who are saying that, Inzamam´s dictatorship cost them the world cup, are nothing more then a bunch of hypocrates. If inzamam was the type of person they are describing him, they had the oppertunity to give captaincy to somebody else who could lead the team the way PCB wanted. the fact is that whole team under performed in the World Cup, and inzamam is being held responsible for that. which is not fair. but again waht is fair in Pakistan cricket? every ex captain had to take the trash and were held responisble of mistakes made by the PCB officials. instead of changing the team, we should get rid of those bunch of hypocrates. PCB needs some sincere, cricket loving, passionate heads.

Posted by Salman on (May 20, 2007, 11:44 GMT)

What inzamam did for the team is excellent he stood up against darrel hair, he took the blame for shoaib and asif drug scandal and well we didnt have our two main bowlers playing we didnt have abdur razaq, shahid afridi, shaoib akhtar or muhammad asif. Thanks Inzamam for the service

Posted by Salman on (May 20, 2007, 11:40 GMT)

First of all this PCB needs a change it needs someone who actually knows about cricket e.g Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram etc... Naseem Ashraf should be fired. Inzamam deserves our support rather than blame for the world cup. This PCB is making a mince meat out of the countries image and the former players. They are blaming Inzamam but what about Younis Khan he is the one down and needs to support the team if the openers fall and Kamran Akmal needs to loose some weight and needs to do better keeping. Its just a sport and Inzamam should not be blamed for all this. Why is this that when India were out nothing was said about the players. because of all this the country is getting embarased. The main reason for loosing this world cup was not inzamam but it was some others who are not in the picture here. Inzamam is a classic player and still pakistan has not found someone like him in 16 years so he should be encouraged to play on in both odi's and tests and players like younis khan, imran farhat, salman butt, kamran akmal should only be kept for sub continent because thats the only place they can perform in. you need to send them to places like england and australia where they can play on seeming pitches.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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