Karachi: A furious former skipper and chairman of selectors Inzamam ul Haq squarely blamed Pakistan Cricket Board's outgoing top boss Zaka Ashraf for being responsible for country's disastrous ODI World Cup performance in India last year.
Zaka, who was named head of an Interim Management Committee to run PCB affairs in July, announced at a meeting of the committee a few days back that he was resigning immediately as Chairman and as a member of the board.
Inzamam, was in fact, removed after the end of the tournament on allegations of 'Conflict of Interest' that he is managed by the same UK-based management firm that also looks after business interests of some of the active players.
"Can you imagine the mindset of the players when during an important event like the World Cup in India they hear that the PCB Chairman is saying the team selected was not done by the board but by the captain and chief selector only," Inzamam said on a Pakistani television channel.
Inzamam was referring to a press release issued by PCB at Zaka's behest after Pakistan lost few games in World Cup, completely disowning any responsibility about the selected team along with hints that skipper Babar Azam will be sacked after the tournament.
"Just think what must be going through the players mind when they hear that an inquiry committee has been formed against the chief selector and he has resigned," he said.
"Where does this happen?," the normally cool Inzamam thundered.
Zaka formed an inquiry committee to look into Conflict of Interest allegations against the former skipper.
"I am still waiting for that report of the inquiry committee against me which was formed to probe whether I had committed a conflict of interest while being the chief selector," he said sarcastically.
Inzamam said everyone had a clear idea of how the PCB management was under Zaka.
Inzamam also felt that the PCB and Pakistan cricket shouldn’t be run on an ad-hoc basis anymore.
"These changes affected the performance of the team and just imagine when they can put pressure on a world class performer like Babar Azam what would the other players be thinking. The team was struggling in the World Cup and they needed to be given full confidence but this didn't happen." He also expressed surprise how quickly PCB got rid of Babar and head coach Mickey Arthur hours after Pakistan's exit from World Cup.
"What does this mean? That the PCB had already decided in advance what they wanted to do? Inzamam said he still believed that the Pakistan team had good players who just needed to be given confidence.
"There is no problem with the team, they just need confidence and backing." A senior PCB official Mustafa Ramday corroborated Inzamam's complaints, stating that Zaka's autocratic ways became detrimental for the board.
Mustafa, who was named by former PM Shahbaz Sharif as one of the two candidates for the PCBs Board of Governors and Chairmanship, alleged Zaka ran a one man show/structure and it caused a lot of damage to Pakistan cricket.
"You can see how the team's performances have been compromised and this is a failure on our part Interim Management Committee," Ramday said on Geo News channel.
"It is unfortunate that cricket has been run on ad-hocism for the last one year and it has affected the performance of the team," he said.
Ramday also said that elections for formation of Board Of Governors (BOG) could be held in two weeks when the extension of the IMC expires on 4th February.
"I told Zaka he should not resign and hold the elections but for some reason he said he can’t carry on because of governmental interference," Ramday added.
Ramday said that perhaps this was done intentionally because there was a question mark over Zaka’s qualification.
To a question, Ramday made it clear that the IMC was not involved in the spate of appointments of new coaches, selectors or decisions which led to Babar Azam stepping down as captain.
"We used to get notifications to give de-facto approval. The inclusive concept was not there in management of cricket and members were not involved. Some members also sent letters, unfortunately it fell on deaf ears." Ramday said it was time the ad-hocism was ended in Pakistan cricket and BOG formed which would give a sense of permanency and positive decisions can be taken for betterment of the team and players.
"We have already suffered an unbearable loss as far as our cricket is concerned and our cricket fans deserve better than this," he added.