September 8, 2003

Inzamam handed captain's armband

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Inzamam-ul-Haq's remarkable return to favour was capped by the announcement that he will lead Pakistan in the absence of the suspended Rashid Latif in the five-match ODI series against Bangladesh, which starts on Tuesday (September 9).

Less than a month ago Inzamam was in the international wilderness, and although he was recalled to bolster Pakistan's middle order in the first Test against Bangladesh, he made a duck in the first innings and only mustered another 88 runs in his next three outings against one of international cricket's weakest attacks. But his matchwinning unbeaten 138 in the one-wicket victory at Multan showed that he still has what it takes, and he has been rewarded with the captain's armband.

Inzamam will be eager to put memories of his dismal World Cup behind him - he scored 19 runs in six inningsas pakistan crashed out in the first round - and he promised that his side would beaiming for a series whitewash. "We want to win and dedicate it to Rashid," he said. "We are fielding a young side, but a talented one and I am confident we can beat Bangladesh 5-0."

Kamran Akmal replaces Latif behind the stumps, but one name which raised some eyebrows was that of 19-year-old medium-fast bowler Junaid Zia, the son of Lt-Gen. Tauqir Zia, the Pakistan Cricket Board's chairman. Critics claimed that his selection owed more to a desire to appease the chairman, who was reportedly far from happy with Pakistan's performances in the Test series.

Pakistan squad: Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez, Yousuf Youhana, Yasir Hameed, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal (wk), Junaid Zia, Umar Gul, Shabbir Ahmed.