KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Inzamamul Haq accused the sport’s authorities of creating factions within the national side by delaying naming the captain for next month’s World Cup.
Pakistan is the only one of the 14 competing teams to have failed to name a captain for the mega event starting from February 19. Inzamam, who played 120 Test matches for Pakistan scoring 25 centuries, said the delay had disrupted the team’s preparations for the showpiece event and stoked divisions among the squad.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last week named a 15-man squad for the tournament but did not name a captain, fanning speculation that the current limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi could be replaced with Test captain Misbahul Haq.
“With only three weeks left, Pakistan have no captain and the blame goes to the PCB for creating an impasse which has divided the team into two groups, supporting Afridi and Misbah,” said Inzamam.
“In this scenario one cannot have high expectations for the team.
“I am surprised. The PCB has failed to control the situation and if Pakistan fare badly in the World Cup, people will accuse the players and not the board.”
Inzamam accused the PCB of in selecting the 15-man World Cup squad without consulting limited-overs captain Afridi or coach Waqar Younis.
“So if the team loses, the captain and coach will say that it was not their team and was selected without their consent. And they will rightly not accept responsibility for a poor showing.
“When a team is without a captain how can a proper strategy be made? This very damaging.”
‘Avoid unnecessary remarks’
Meanwhile, former captain and batting consultant Javed Miandad advised the players to just focus on cricket.
“We have a good ODI combination which can do well in the World Cup but the players first need to adopt a more professional approach,” said Miandad, adding that they should avoid making unnecessary statements to the media.
“They must learn from someone like Sachin Tendulkar. He has scored so many runs and hundreds but you hardly ever hear him making any claims in the media. He performs like a professional.”
Pakistan are in Group A and will start their campaign against Kenya at Hambantota, Sri Lanka next month on February 23.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2011.