Committee questions dictatorial leadership May 17, 2007

Pakistan board slams Inzamam for World Cup loss

Cricinfo staff



'As a player he [Inzamam] was world-class but his attitude was haughty during and before the tournament' © AFP

A commission set up by the Pakistan Cricket Board has blamed Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former captain, for Pakistan's surprise first-round exit from the World Cup. The three-member committee, which compiled its report over the past month after taking statements from players, former players and officials, went to the extent of calling him a "dictator".

"Inzamam's attitude was haughty and that of a dictator and more than one incident proved that," Ijaz Butt, head of the committee, told AFP. "Inzamam should have been removed from the captaincy. As a player he was world-class but his attitude was haughty during and before the tournament."

Pakistan lost the World Cup opener to West Indies in Jamaica, and were at the receiving end of one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history when they narrowly lost to Ireland, a defeat that knocked them out of the competition. The next day, coach Bob Woolmer was found unconscious in his hotel room and was pronounced dead shortly after. The case is still being investigated, with contrasting reports from different sources that he was either murdered or died of natural causes. Inzamam retired from one-day cricket after the World Cup and was succeeded by Shoaib Malik as captain.

Butt, a former Test opener, revealed that the committee took exception to Inzamam's attitude, particularly regarding the policy of having a selector on tour.

"When the Pakistan Cricket Board sent a selector with the team on tour to South Africa in January-February this year, Inzamam did not involve the selector in team selection," he said.

Recently, Wasim Akram, the former Pakistan fast bowler and captain, too accused Inzamam of being a dictator in a TV interview. He said that Inzamam had become so powerful that PCB officials used to sit at his residence and await orders.

The committee also highlighted other grey areas such as poor planning and management and were critical of the fact that the board did not send a delegation to the West Indies to get a feel of the conditions and pitches before the World Cup. They also pointed out the poor handling of the doping cases involving fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif. The bans on both players were overturned and were named in the World Cup squad initially but had to pull out on fitness grounds.

"We sent 12 players with Shahid Afridi unable to play the first two games due to a ban," Butt said. "There was no planning for an important event like the World Cup and blame should also be shared by the cricket management."

Butt also ruled out allegations of match-fixing or targeted fixing, when players fix small elements of the game, such as the numbers of extras.

"There was no evidence of match-fixing against the team or any targeted match-fixing, and we invited former PCB chief Shaharyar Khan to corroborate what he said in the press about targeted fixing [that it happened regularly], but he didn't come."