Original Articles

Inzamam’s tenure has been regressive for Pakistan cricket



Saleem Khaliq’s June 18th article for “Cricket Pakistan” is worth reading. In it, he highlights some of the rot that has infected the Pakistan cricket team under Inzamam.

“Inzamam was given a business class ticket by the PCB for his trip to England. He received a daily allowance of $500 as well.

According to sources, the former captain started interfering with the affairs of the team management after arriving in England. Usually the task of the selection committee ends after finalizing the 15-man squad; surprisingly this did not happen in an important event such as the World Cup.

Inzamam was added alongside Captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and Head Coach Mickey Arthur in the tour selection committee.

This way, the final eleven was based on his suggestions as well. During this time he is alleged to have taken advantage of his authority by influencing the selection of particular players.

The team management was not happy with Inzamam’s interference as he was also heavily involved in training sessions by giving advice to the players. The team of coaches considered this interference in their work.

According to sources, after leaving the team in disarray, the chief selector has now departed to visit his relatives.”

Since the early 2000s, a combination of Tableeghi Jamaat, Match Fixing, sectarian bigotry and Nepotism has eaten away at the very fabric of the Pakistan cricket team.

There were always counters to match fixing and nepotism that had existed earlier as well. However, when most of the team was converted, under pressure, into an extension of the Tableeghi Jamaat, things took a turn for the worst.

The Tableeghi Jamaat became the dominant group within the team. TeJ also fixed its activities with commercial interests, one of which was match fixing.

The tacit acceptance of the cancerous match fixing was because TeJ valued commercial interests over that of cricket and Pakistan.

There were always ethnic tensions in the Pakistan cricket team where Lahore/Aitchison lobby dominated at the expense of the rest of Pakistan. With TeJ, the team was also divided along sectarian lines.

Sunni Barelvis, Christians, Shias and Hindus were either pressured to convert to the Deobandi ideology of TeJ; or they were not allowed into the team.

Inzamam lead the TeJ group. After his and Yousuf’s retirement, things became a little better. Team cohesion and professionalism increased and the team regained some of its previous religious diversity.

However, when Najam Sethi appointed Inzamam to the powerful post of selector, things regressed once again. This happened during the Nawaz Sharif regime and has continued under Imran Khan.