Champions Trophy, 2006-07 October 8, 2006

Technicality rules Inzamam out of tournament

Inzamam-ul-Haq cannot take part in the Champions Trophy as he was dropped from the original squad © Getty Images

Inzamam-ul-Haq cannot take any part in the Champions Trophy even if Pakistan reached the final. Although he would have served out the four-match ban that he was handed in late September, the Participating Nations Agreement (PNA) clearly states that a player who is replaced in a squad cannot be reinstated.

Every team that takes part in the Champions Trophy has signed the PNA, and it comes as a bit of a surprise that Younis Khan, now leading Pakistan was not aware of this clause, when he said, at a pre-tournament media session, on arriving in India, "It will be really good if we win our first four games in the Champions Trophy and then Inzy [Inzamam] comes back and I will be ready to stand down as captain. I will be really happy to see him lift the trophy while I am standing behind him. He has been one of my heroes right from the 1992 World Cup."

Clause 6.9 of the PNA deals with the issue of replacements, and it says quite unequivocally that once a player is replaced he cannot be reinstated later in the tournament. Inzamam was replaced by Faisal Iqbal after being handed the ban by Ranjan Madugalle at a hearing in London in late September. Inzamam was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute after his team forfeited the Oval Test against England. The forfeiture came after Darrell Hair docked the Pakistan team five runs for ball- tampering and changed the ball that was being used at the time. Pakistan stayed off the field in protest after a break, and the match was forfeited, despite attempts to get it going. Inzamam was subsequently cleared of the charge of ball tampering.

Younis Khan was then appointed captain in place of Inzamam, refusing to take the job, saying he did not want to be "a dummy captain". Mohammad Yousuf was given the job of leading the side, while Younis would continue as an ordinary member of the team. However, after Shaharyar Khan resigned as the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, and Mushtaq Ahmed sacked as assistant coach, Younis was persuaded to take the job back, and he agreed. Perhaps, in all this confusion, he was never handed a copy of the PNA to read.

Anand Vasu is assistant editor of Cricinfo