The blame game continues

Inzamam hits back at report findings

Cricinfo staff

May 18, 2007

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Inzamam-ul-Haq will not go down without a fight © AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, struck out at the findings of an official board report that found him to be a "dictator" and blamed him almost entirely for the World Cup debacle.

Responding to claims in a PCB committee report that his attitude was "haughty and that of a dictator," Inzamam responded by arguing that this was the way of Pakistan cricket. Speaking to the Urdu daily Jang, Inzamam said, "I was blamed for being very lenient during my whole captaincy career and now I am turned into a dictator. That could only be accepted if players had complained that I acted like one.

"This is nothing new in Pakistan cricket. When the team loses, all the blame is put on others, and I was ready for that because it happened in the past," he said, referring to Pakistan's equally dismal 2003 World Cup."

Inzamam defended himself from charges that he took all selection matters into his own hands, marginalising on-tour selectors and calling up his own preferred players without consultation. "If I had power as captain it was simply because I was a successful captain and whenever I wanted certain player I convinced selectors to get that player and not through dictatorship."

The committee included two paid employees of the board, Salahuddin Ahmed, chief selector and Salim Altaf, director special projects, leading Inzamam to question the neutrality of their findings.

"I know it will sound bitter to them but the presence of two paid members in the probe committee raises doubts over the impartiality of the report," Inzamam told the BBC's Urdu service.

"How can a member, who was the director of operations, say this now and didn't realise it before the World Cup?" asked Inzamam of Altaf.

Inzamam, who resigned as captain and retired from ODIs after the tournament, maintained the report would have no bearing on his future. "It will be up to the selectors to select me. I will feature in domestic cricket and have been training to play Tests. This committee cannot decide my future," he said. Given that the current chief selector was party to the committee's findings, it seems improbable that Inzamam will be selected again for Pakistan.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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