Inzamam-ul-Haq defends himself over Champions Trophy cash controversy
What’s the story?
Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq defended himself over the controversy that erupted following the government's decision to award him a sum of Rs 10 million for being the chief selector of the Pakistan side that won the 2017 Champions Trophy defeating arch-rivals India in the final.
The 47-year-old feels that the cash prize is justified considering the hard work he and his team have put in over the past year which has translated into results on the pitch as well.
“We didn’t ask to be given these awards. But it is disappointing, it is being made into an issue for no rhyme or reason,” Inzamam said.
“The selectors should be given credit for their work. Teams picked by this selection committee drew Test series in England last year, won a series in the West Indies for the first time in 70 years and now also lifted the Champions Trophy,” he added.
He also reminded that it was his committee that had recommended Sarfraz Ahmed’s name for the role of ODI captaincy.
“It was the selection committee which had suggested to the cricket board to make Sarfraz the captain of the national one-day side,” he said.
In case you didn’t know...
Inzamam was appointed as the chief selector by the PCB in April 2016 after the former impressed in his role as head coach of Afghanistan.
The move was part of a shake-up in Pakistan cricket with Waqar Younis stepping down as coach of the side only a couple of weeks earlier while Shahid Afridi had also stepped down from T20 captaincy following disappointing outings in the Asia Cup and 2016 World T20 where they crashed out of both tournaments in the group stages.
The heart of the matter
A lot of things have transpired in Pakistan cricket since Inzy took charge, with the retirement of batting stalwarts Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq being the highly significant ones. The duo bid farewell after helping Pakistan to a historic series win in the Caribbean and was also involved in a thrilling 2-2 Test series draw against England in 2016 that saw the side briefly secure top spot in the ICC Test rankings.
The 2017 Champions Trophy triumph was, however, something which came totally out of the blue as the inexperienced team which headed into the tournament as the lowest ranked of the eight teams in the fray, beat all odds to end up as champions, despite suffering a miserable loss to India in the opening match of the tournament.
Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, who played a match-winning knock against Sri Lanka in the decisive group fixture against Sri Lanka, has since been appointed as the captain of the Test side as well and Inzamam feels that he is more than entitled to be rewarded for the work he has been putting in behind the scenes.
We do not seem to have seen the end of the controversy though with another former chief selector Mohsin Khan claiming it as absurd that Inzamam is getting rewarded twice the amount of money that has been paid to head coach Mickey Arthur.
He suggested Inzamam split up the money among the entire selection committee to bring in a sense of correctness to the whole incident.
Controversy never seems to elude Pakistan cricket even in times of success such as this one when the team conquered all odds to clinch the 2017 Champions Trophy. Inzamam’s reactions mean this episode is likely to carry on a little bit further at least, but let’s just hope that good sense prevails and he doesn’t end up leaving his post.