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Inzamam not PCB's choice for test team

The former Pakistan captain has thin chances of getting his test career extended when Pak hosts SA.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, Karachi
UPDATED ON APR 26, 2007 04:58 PM IST

The selectors and the officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are unlikely to give a chance to former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to extend his test career when they host South Africa in September this year.

"The people forming the PCB think-tank are more or less convinced that Inzamam should not be a part of Pakistan's Test squad," The News quoted an unnamed PCB official as saying.

Inzamam, 37, resigned as captain and announced his retirement from one-day cricket after Pakistan's disastrous World Cup campaign in the Caribbean last month when they lost to the West Indies and minnows Ireland and were knocked out of the contest's opening round.

The master batsman, however, kept alive his hope of extending his test career saying that he still feels good enough to play the longer version of the game.

But top board officials believe Inzamam's career is over-the-hill and he is also responsible for Pakistan's humiliating show in the World Cup, The News said.

The board and the members of the newly-appointed national selection committee believe that it is time Pakistan brings in new faces in a bid to rebuild the squad for the 2011 World Cup to be jointly hosted by Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the newspaper said.

Inzamam is one of the most accomplished Pakistani batsmen of all time having scored 8813 runs from 119 Test appearances at an average of 50.07 with 25 centuries and 46 fifties. His one-day career spanning over 378 games is also enviable as he has scored 11,739 runs with ten centuries and 83 fifties.

But recently Inzamam had disappointed on the field and has lost his form that had made him one of the most prolific scorers in international cricket.

A chronic back problem had added to his woes as he has always been a below average fielder and a bad runner between the wickets.

Off the field, he was blamed for his unimpressive leadership skills, while several others believed he had become an autocratic captain.

Inzamam did play a domineering role in team selection and is blamed for including under-performers like all-rounder Azhar Mahmood in the World Cup squad.

But the PCB official pointed out that at this juncture Pakistan needs to look beyond individuals and take decisions in the best interest of the team, The News said.

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