LAHORE: Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been appointed to lead the national selection committee comprising team director Mickey Arthur and head coach Grant Bradburn, the country’s cricket board announced on Monday.
It will be Inzamam’s second stint in the position, with the 53-year-old having served as chief selector between 2016 and 2019. He will pick the Pakistan squads for the upcoming three-match One-day International series against Afghanistan and the Asia Cup — which are likely to be named on Thursday.
One of most prolific batters in Pakistan’s cricketing history, Inzamam will also select the Pakistan roster for the ICC World Cup, which is set to be held in India from Oct. 5 to Nov. 19. He had named the Pakistan side in the previous edition of the event in 2019 as well.
To take the charge as chief selector, Inzamam had to withdraw himself from the Cricket Technical Committee (CTC) — which was recently formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to make recommendations on sporting affairs.
He fills the position left vacant by former selection committee chair Haroon Rasheed, who had to leave the post following the dissolution of the PCB’s previous interim Management Committee led by Najam Sethi, whose successor Zaka Ashraf deemed Inzamam fit for the job.
“It is an honour for me to be appointed as the chairperson of the national men’s selection committee,” Inzamam was quoted as saying in a PCB press release.
“I am thankful to Mr Zaka Ashraf for offering me this post. It is wonderful to see the chairman is involving former players in the cricketing matters.”
It won’t be the first time Inzamam would be working with Arthur as a chief selector. The latter was Pakistan’s head coach during Inzamam’s last stint and the duo had combined to bring the Champions Trophy title to Pakistan in 2017.
Two years later, after Pakistan had failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in England, both Inzamam and Arthur were sacked by the PCB.
Currently, however, Arthur is working as the director of the Pakistan men’s team in a remote role while also carrying out duties as the head coach of English County side Derbyshire.
The Pakistan coaching staff is one handpicked by Arthur, headed by Bradburn and including batting coach Andrew Puttick and bowling coach Morne Morkel.
He was appointed in the directorial role — overseeing Pakistan men’s outfits from senior to Pakistan Shaheens and under-19 levels — by Sethi in April and was also named as a part of the selection committee along with Bradburn.
After Zaka took charge of the PCB, there were doubts over Arthur and Bradburn’s future as members of the committee despite Pakistan’s 2-0 Test series triumph in Sri Lanka last month.
With the duo, along with secretary Hasan Cheema — handling data analysis and strategy — retained in the selection panel, a continuity has been secured with the Asia Cup and the World Cup in sight.
“Heading a selection committee is already a tough job in Pakistan, but it is going to be more challenging this time with the ACC Men’s Asia Cup and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup around the corner followed by the tour of Australia,” Inzamam said in the statement. “But, I know I can deliver in this role and I will try to do better than I did the last time. Despite the paucity of time, we will announce the best possible sides.”
The PCB said Inzamam’s replacement in the CTC — which comprises of former captains Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez — “will be announced in due course”.
Pakistan next assignment is the ODI series against Afghanistan from Aug. 22 to 26 in Sri Lanka before the Asia Cup runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 17, with the tournament to be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2023