Super Series 2005 September 27, 2005

Inzamam finally agrees to play

Cricinfo staff

Inzamam-ul-Haq: with selection confirmed for the Super Series, indignation turns to relief © Getty Images

Inzamam-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has finally agreed to play in the ICC Super Series one-off Test against Australia in October. The Pakistan Cricket Board released a statement saying Shaharyar Khan, chairman of the PCB, had spoken to Inzamam and explained the background of the genuine misunderstanding regarding his selection for the Super Series squads.

According to the statement, Shaharyar told Inzamam that in the interests of Pakistan cricket he should participate in the Super Series. In turn, Inzamam responded positively to the chairman's advice and agreed to play in the Test match at Sydney.

An official at the PCB told Cricinfo that the whole situation was nothing more than a "minor misunderstanding" between Inzamam and the board.

Inzamam said he agreed to feature in the Super Test to improve Pakistan's image. He told reporters, "I did say that I would not go but after being convinced by the chairman that my participation is necessary for the better image of the country, I have decided to tour Australia."

The u-turn follows Inzamam's decision to snub the Super Series yesterday, after he heard that he was selected only for the Test squad. The PCB had announced on Wednesday that Inzamam would be in both teams, but two days later the ICC said that he would feature in the six-day Super Test squad only, and that too as a replacement for Sachin Tendulkar. He was omitted from the one-dayers, with the ICC instead naming Chris Gayle and Rahul Dravid as replacements for Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs.

Expressing disappointment over the earlier confusion, the ICC said there had been preliminary discussions between the ICC and PCB to find out whether Inzamam would be available for the Super Series if selected.

An ICC spokesman clarified to AFP, "Once it was understood that he was available... the selectors discussed replacements for Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa and selected Inzamam for the Test squad only."

Inzamam said newspaper reports on Tuesday suggesting he was angry at the decision were incorrect. "Newspaper reports suggested that I was angry which is wrong. It was a principled stance that I should be treated with respect and that's why I was disappointed."