Shahryar denies making Inzamam a dictator

Shahryar Khan, former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has denied reports that he made Inzamam-ul-Haq a dictator while expressing disagreement over the findings by the Performance Evaluation Committee (PEC).

The PEC, formed by the PCB in order to dig into the World Cup debacle, released its report earlier this month and claimed that the former chairman had backed Inzamam during the Oval fiasco that made him a dictator and, in turn, led to Pakistan's poor performance in the World Cup.

"The PEC, in its proceedings, has discussed my tenure and criticised me, but its claim that I made Inzamam a 'dictator' is absolutely wrong," Shaharyar told the daily Dawn. "I am not saying Inzamam was an ideal captain but he was a better choice. He had been performing well with the bat and as captain, too. There was not a single true cricket lover, who could say two years ago to change Inzamam as captain because he is a 'dictator' or more religious."

"I believe Inzamam was Pakistan's only reliable batsman during the critical period as Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan improved later to strengthen the middle order," he said. "There are some shortcomings in Inzamam but his collaboration with coach, the late Bob Woolmer, had lifted Pakistan from seventh to the third spot in world rankings.

"As a captain Inzamam has the right to make a demand to the PCB. But on many occasions I did not accept his demands. For example he wanted to retain Moin Khan in the team but we introduced Kamran Akmal and similarly the selectors had called up Yasir Hameed from the last tour of India, though Inzamam did not agree to that."

He dispelled the impression that he supported Inzamam, even after The Oval Test. "After the Oval flop, I did not support Inzamam," Shahryar said. He also said that Inzamam was not only the team's leader but their spiritual head as well.

Shahryar resigned as PCB's chairman last year. He was under pressure due to the handling of The Oval forfeiture and following Younis's refusal to act as captain when Inzamam was unavailable for the Champions Trophy.