An Open Letter To Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq
Inzamam ul Haq,
Pakistan Cricket Board
Respectfully I would like to state that when the Pakistan Cricket Board appointed you the Chief Selector in 2016, many welcomed the decision because a) you were part of modern Cricket and even represented your country at T20 level and b) you always won matches for Pakistan when the going was tough. However, in the last three years as the Head of the Selection Committee, you have proved to be an inept person at the helm who is no different than Intikhab Alams, Haroon Rasheeds and Salahuddin Sallus who have damaged Pakistan Cricket more than helped it.
Let’s start with the work for which you were appointed – selecting the players for the Pakistan national side. You seem to have something against Junaid Khan, Sami Aslam, Fawad Alam, Abid Ali, Usman Salahuddin and many such budding Cricketers who would have made it to any Cricket team in the world on the basis of their talent. Their biggest drawback was that you were the Chief Selector when they were knocking at the door because you may seem like a neutral person, but that’s the last thing you really are. From keeping Misbah ul Haq out of the side when you were Captain to continuously selecting your own nephew Imam ul Haq for the national team, you have proved to be incompetent and someone who doesn’t care about merit. Just remember that the very Misbah ul Haq whom you kept away from the national team turned out to be more sincere to Pakistan Cricket than you ever were, he managed to win more matches than you, took Pakistan’s Test Team to new heights and is now considered the father of Modern Cricket in Pakistan, something that you could have been. He may not have scored as many runs as you did but ask any person born in the last 25 years and they will tell you that the only Ul Haq they respect is named Misbah.
And then there is the strange case of Fawad Alam who may not be the best batsman in Pakistan in your eyes but he is as good if not better than all those you have selected since taking over. Had he been given as many chances as Imam ul Haq in the national side, he might have given Pakistan’s batting the stability it requires as soon as Babar Azam or Asad Shafiq are back into the pavilion. Who knows with his good work, he might have managed to give you a tough time on Social Media, by changing his Twitter handle to Fawad The Legend! Does any of your contemporary like Shane Warne, Sachin Tendulkar, Muttiah Muralitharan, Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Sanath Jayasuriya or Kumar Sangakkara use ‘The Legend’ in their Twitter handles, considering they were bigger legends than you! It’s about time you realize that you are not as huge as you consider yourself and either leave the position you didn’t earn to someone who is more sincere to Pakistan Cricket or get your act right and select players on merit.
In a country full of talented individuals, you selected Wahab Riaz in all formats even after his five-dead-ball act in a Test match; you persisted with Rahat Ali knowing that better bowlers would have helped Pakistan; you didn’t press for Faheem Ashraf’s inclusion in the final XI despite knowing that it would help the team balance; you didn’t go for experienced players after the retirement of Misbah ul Haq and Younis Khan and promoted newcomers such as Imam ul Haq; you took assignments from abroad at a time when your selected batsmen weren’t able to score 200 runs in consecutive innings; you were involved in other Cricket leagues knowing that you were needed more at home and you kept defending Imam ul Haq when others were scoring runs against international teams and in tough conditions. Do you still believe that you have the right to use the word ‘Legend’ with your name? Don’t you think that you disrespect the office you hold by being someone who should rather do something else than be part of the Cricket set up?
We all know how the Pakistan team will perform in the third Test against South Africa; with no express pacer (Junaid Khan would have helped more than five-try Wahab Riaz), with a batting line up that needs a big shakeup, and a Captain whose biggest out-of-the-box idea is to bowl someone who isn’t a regular bowler because his options are limited. At a time when India is defeating Australia Down Under, we are still blaming bad selection, something that has been there ever since Imran Khan left the scene way back in 1992. You were supposed to carry forward his legacy, you were supposed to instill confidence in the players, you were supposed to act as a father figure to all those who want to do well for their country. Instead, you chose to be a dishonest Uncle who wants to be known for his incompetence than as a world-class Cricketer who won Pakistan the World Cup. You still have time to get your act right otherwise someone more deserving and more patriotic than you would be at the helm and your nephew and you might be cursing yourselves for lost chances. The choice is yours!