Inzamam-ul-Haq has been appointed chief selector of Pakistan. A former Pakistan captain, Inzamam was the head coach of Afghanistan since October 2015, and was contracted by the Afghanistan Cricket Board until December 2016. The PCB, however, requested the ACB that he be released from his contract early.
This will be Inzamam's first time as a selector; he had worked as Pakistan's batting consultant briefly in 2012-13. The PCB has not set a fixed term for Inzamam's tenure. He heads a panel that includes former opening batsman Wajahatullah Wasti, Tauseef Ahmed, an offspinner who played 34 Tests and 70 ODIs, and seam-bowling allrounder Wasim Haider, who played three ODIs and over 100 first-class and List A matches.
"I have played a lot for Pakistan but it's for the first time that I have come [as selector] and the PCB has given me such an important responsibility," Inzamam said. "I want to thank ACB that they allowed me to do national duty. The three selectors should be involved in first-class cricket and [we have] one fast bowler, one spinner and one batsman so that we can cover three sectors."
Inzamam's appointment comes in the wake of several changes in Pakistan cricket. His former team-mate Waqar Younis had stepped down as coach on April 4, a day after Shahid Afridi relinquished his T20 captaincy. This shake-up was the result of a poor 2016 for Pakistan. They lost the T20 and the ODI series in New Zealand in January. They lost two of their four matches in the Asia Cup T20 in February and in the ensuing World T20, they lost three out of four games. In both tournaments, they could not make it beyond the first round.
Performance reports from Waqar and team manager Intikhab Alam had made several points pertaining to selections. Waqar had suggested the chief selector "should be someone who has played modern-era cricket and has a positive vision" and recommended Inzamam for the job.
Pakistan's next assignment is a full tour of England - four Tests, five ODIs and a lone T20I - that starts in July. Inzamam cautioned against expecting an immediate change in performance.
"We have to be patient, don't expect anything soon. I will see the players first, inshallah you will see a change soon. I am here for the national duty and I won't leave it," he said. "To select a team is a very important thing, it has to be done by some cricketer, I will try to fulfill my duty. It's the start, I don't have a magic wand, it will take time, there will be technical things and other problems too which we have to see.
"I can't talk about the last selection committee, but you have to make a pool of players and guide them and spend time with them. When you make changes, you face problems, but we will be back on track if we make a pool of players."
Inzamam is Pakistan's highest run-getter in ODIs with 11701 runs in 375 matches, and their third-highest in Tests with 8829 runs in 119 matches. He was also among the country's most distinguished captains and as selector, he wanted to make sure the captain remained the "main man".
"I will try and also hope that I will be allowed to work independently," Inzamam said. "My role is different, when I was the captain I used to give my suggestions. Now, I will listen to them (captains) too about what's their suggestion. When I was the captain I used to have my say. The captain is the main man. Like how I used to give my suggestion, I will give importance to what captain and coach will say because they are the ones who matter inside the ground."
Pakistan bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, who was rested for the Asia Cup and World T20, has assumed the role of coach at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.