The outgoing Pakistan Cricket Team chief selector and former Pakistan skipper Inzimam ul Haq defended selection of his nephew Imam ul Haq and said he had no role in his selection.
Inzimam on Wednesday at Gaddafi Stadium Lahore announced that he is stepping down from chief selector post as he is not renewing his contract. On the occasion for the first time he said that he had no role in selection of Imam and the opener was selected on the basis of his performances.
He said that he had never been the one to push for Imam’s selection, claiming batting coach Grant Flower had first brought up the possibility of bringing him into the international set-up. He also reminded people he hadn’t been part of the set-up when Imam was included in the Pakistan Under-19 squad in 2012, or when he went on to become the vice-captain of that side in 2014, deputising under Babar Azam.
“When he was first picked up for the international team not many know this, that it was Grant Flower who first came up to me to say he had been watching Imam score runs in domestic cricket. Then, [head coach] Mickey Arthur took up his case with the selection committee. Many people raised questions about his selection but when his name came up in selection I kept quiet and let others decide about him. So when you say that his selection is because of me, that’s inappropriate, because the team is not made by me alone. It was by the head coach and captain so why not question them?
“His selection for me and him has been very critical for each other,” Inzamam said. “But I want to remind people who had been making this an issue that when I wasn’t the part of PCB in any capacity in 2012, he was selected in Pakistan’s Under-19 squad. In 2014, he was named vice-captain for the Under-19 World Cup and this formed a pathway to international cricket. He has scored runs and earned his place in the team. He did well and in the 36 ODIs he’s played so far as opener, he averages over 50, which hasn’t been achieved by anyone yet. So I think he should be regarded the same as everyone else.”