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Experts demand Inzamam's head

While Miandad wants more accountability in the team management, Aamir Sohail has blamed Inzamam for poor strategy and planning.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 11:21 IST

Knives are out and former cricket captains are calling for Inzamam-ul-Haq's head after India took an unassailable 3-1 lead over Pakistan in the one-day series.

While Javed Miandad wants more accountability in the team management, Aamir Sohail has blamed Inzamam for poor strategy and planning which led to the teams loss.

But these stalwarts have forgotten they have gone through such patchy phases in their captaincy period as well when skipper was made the scapegoat for every loss.

While bitterly slamming the team's performance, they have also undermined the fact that the same team won the Test series by beating India in Karachi by a whopping 341 runs margin and that too after collapsing to 0-3 and then 39-6.

Furthermore, this is the same team that drew the Test series in India last year and went on to win the one-day series 4-2.

They have followed it up with drawing the Test series against the West Indies at their den and winning the one-day series 3-0 and finally defeating Ashes winners England 2-0 in tests and 3-2 in one-day series.

The saddest part is that these icons of the game have been part and parcel of the Pakistan cricket setup for decades and have seen the ups and downs closely during their respective tenures.

Imran Khan, worshipped for bringing Pakistan the 1992 World Cup glory, made an amateurish mistake in the Bangalore Test victory in 1986-97 when he misread the pitch and included left-arm pacer Saleem Jaffar while Abdul Qadir was felt to be suited for the substitute bench.

Jaffar did not bowl in the second innings as Wasim Akram showed his talent as a left-arm spinner.

In the 1987 World Cup semifinal against Australia, Imran miscalculated the overs and Saleem Jaffar bowled the 50th over in which Steve Waugh took him for 17 runs. Pakistan lost by 17 runs.

Javed Miandad has demanded accountability of the team management while easily forgetting that he was the Pakistan coach a couple of year's ago when India won both the test and one-day series.

The star of yesteryear probably wants the same treatment meted out to his successor Bob Woolmer which he got on June 16, 2004 -- termination of contract.

Interestingly, it was the third time he had failed to complete his contract as Pakistan coach. Needless to recall that he was appointed Pakistan captain no less than half a dozen times but never completed a full term.

Aamir Sohail, another former captain, continues his tirade against Inzamam and blames him for poor strategy and planning for team's routing while proposing Younis Khan as next captain.

Ironically, Sohail was the captain in 1998 when Zimbabwe won their first Test and the series out of their country while beating Pakistan on a green top in Peshawar.

After the Peshawar game, the cricket managers told Sohail not to turn up for the second test in Lahore that was marred by bad weather.

These greats have been in situations where all the fingers were pointed at them in the wake of team's defeat.

Unfortunately they also know that when the team is down, it requires motivation and morale-boosting instead of harsh criticism that further dampens the spirits of the players. But why such attitude now? Is it personal and they have an axe to grind, be it against Inzamam or the cricket board?

Inzamam-ul-Haq has been a silent spectator in the entire scenario and facing the wrath of his critics from his sidelines.

He has refused to react to these criticisms, maintaining that if the team is praised for good performance, it was also liable for criticism for poor performance.

Doesn't it come as a package? he asks.

Senior cricket correspondent Waheed Khan, writing in The News newspaper, summons up the scenario in a more professional and sophisticated manner.

He writes, "Pakistan are no doubt a good team and have been performing well for the last 12 months. They can't become a bad team overnight. But good management is all about identifying the problems swiftly and then resolving them. That is what one expects Inzamam and Woolmer to do.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 19:07 IST