KARACHI: Pakistan chief selector Inzamamul Haq believes changes in the ODI team are inevitable since the recent 5-0 whitewash in the 50-over format at the hands of New Zealand cannot be ignored.
Inzamam was addressing media at the Lahore Cricket Club when he said: “After a 5-0 defeat, changes are obvious. The ODI team needs a revamp, since such a defeat is not acceptable.”
He continued by ruing the fact that Pakistan have only one ODI tournament in the domestic calendar but did say that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying its best to add more.
“There is only a single ODI tournament every year in Pakistan. We are working on increasing the number of tournaments since that will help the players polish their skills for the 50-over format,” he said.
On PSL and club cricket
Pakistan Super League (PSL) kicks off on February 22 in Dubai and Inzamam believes it provides young players a platform to improve their shortest-format skills. “The players playing in the PSL will get a chance to develop T20 skills, which will increase the talent pool available to us in this format,” he said.
He added that the PCB is focused on improving the standards of first-class and list A cricket in the domestic structure so that it can translate to better national teams in both formats.
The 47-year-old also emphasised on the importance of club cricket. “The more club cricket you play, the better you get,” he said. “During our time, I used to play more than 150 matches in a year and that helped me improve.”
On team selection
Inzamam was quite candid when asked about the role of a chief selector during the selection of the playing eleven for a match.
“I believe that suggestions from a selector should also be taken into account when selecting a playing eleven,” he said. “Although the captain and coach are mainly involved, a selector should also be consulted in the process for better outcomes.”
Talking about the role of Lahore in unearthing cricketing talent, Inzamam said that the number of upcoming players has decreased since club cricket has taken a back seat. “Manto Park has produced at least eight to 10 international players for Pakistan and some other clubs have done the same. They will have to revive club cricket in order to produce good players from Lahore,” he said.