Inzamam Ul Haq

ISLAMABAD, Jun 14 (APP):Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has raised eyebrows on Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selection committee’s decision to announce a big squad for the England tour, fearing that instead of serving the good it may hit back.

Pakistan on Friday announced a 44-member extended squad for the three Tests and three T20s for England trip, slated to be held in in August-September.

“There are 29 players and 15 officials in the squad. I’ve never seen such a big management and a big team like that,” Inzamam said in a video on his YouTube channel.

The 50-year-old, who also served as chief selector national team from April 2016 to July 2017, said that the announcement of an extended team would put extra pressure on the players as each one of them would remain concerned as who would be picked up to become part of the playing eleven.

“It’s very surprising. I don’t know who has floated the idea to take a tough decision of sending 44 people on the tour. Let’s hope that it will benefit Pakistan cricket. But controlling and looking after such a big squad will not an easy task.

West Indies are there. I don’t think they’ve brought such a big squad. Our players need confidence; the more they’ll have it the better they’ll perform. But if a player will keep on worrying during the entire tour that if he will fail to perform he may be replaced with someone else, then it will damage for the team.”

Commenting on Sarfraz Ahmed’s inclusion in the squad as a backup wicketkeeper, Inzamam said it would not be easy for him to adjust to the new role.

“It is a good thing that Sarfraz has been given the chance. But considering him a second wicketkeeper is not a good move. An individual, who has been Pakistan’s captain for a long time and who led his side to several wins, including the Champions Trophy, such a role does not seem suitable.”

“Making a comeback as a normal player is different, but it is not easy for a player who has been team’s captain for three to four years. At the time of making comeback a player needs some encouraging words. But the use of such words (second wicketkeeper) may down him,” he insisted.

Inzamam also expressed reservations on PCB’s decision of not including senior players – Muhammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz and Muhmmad Amir in the list of centrally contracted players. “When the central contracts were announced (last month) I couldn’t comment on that as it is after quite some time that I’m posting this video to express my views. But I think by not awarding central contracts to these four players, you’ve given them the message that you’ll not be with us for a long period. But if they are part of your T20 squad during the England tour, how can you give them the message that you are not part of our future planning?” he asked.

“I don’t think this a good approach as it will compel the players to focus on individual efforts and consequently team’s unity will be at stake.”

According to Inzamam there would have been nothing wrong if these players were also given a one year contract. “They’ve served Pakistan cricket for several years. I’ve also not seen any statement coming from them that they’ll quitting after the world cup,” added Inzamam, who scored 8,830 runs in 120 Tests and 11739 runs in 378 ODIs.