"Can someone explain..." - Inzamam-ul-Haq slams PCB for removing Mohammad Hafeez and retaining Wahab Riaz

Updated - 04 Mar 2024, 06:38 PM

Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez
Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Hafeez [PC: X/Twitter]

Former Pakistan cricketer Inzamam-ul-Haq questioned the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) over the sacking of Mohammad Hafeez as a director of cricket and retaining Wahab Riaz as chief selector. He asked why Hafeez was only held accountable for the poor performances and not Riaz, who was appointed at the same time.

Pakistan Cricket Team underwent massive changes in the system after the ICC World Cup 2023. The entire coaching staff was sacked and also there was a major change in the captaincy. The PCB appointed Mohammad Hafeez as the head coach and director of cricket whereas Wahab Riaz was roped in as the new chief selector.

However, a few months after that, as Pakistan faced thrashing losses in the Australia Test series and New Zealand T20Is, the team saw another change in the system. Newly appointed PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi relieved Mohammad Hafeez of his duties even though he had a long contract.

While Mohammad Hafeez was removed, Wahab Riaz, who reportedly is close to Mohsin Naqvi, held his position as the chief selector. The new Chairman is also keen to get foreign coaches on board for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, in USA and Caribbean in June.

Mohammad Hafeez getting removed from the position didn’t go well with Inzamam-ul-Haq. The former Pakistan skipper asked for an explanation for the development and stressed that ex-players of the team deserve the same amount of respect as the PCB Chairman from the top board officials. Speaking during the TV Show, he explained (as quoted by PTI):

“Can someone explain the reasoning behind removing Muhammad Hafeez as team director but retaining Wahab Riaz as chief selector after the Australian and New Zealand tours. Weren’t both appointed at the same time and given the same responsibilities so why has only Hafeez been held accountable and not Wahab Riaz?

“The PCB Chairman no doubt is a highly respectable position but don’t former captains and stalwarts deserve the same amount of respect from the top board officials. We had a meeting scheduled at the PCB offices after this story about me having a conflict of interest as chief selector broke out.”

Pakistan cricket cannot be run in this manner – Inzamam-ul-Haq

Inzamam-ul-Haq further stressed on his issue with PCB when he was removed as the chief selector following his saga with betting companies. He highlighted how he was shown no respect by former board Chairman, Zaka Ashraf.

Inzamam-ul-Haq further said that with the way things are going, Pakistan cricket won’t be run in a good manner. While expressing his frustration, he explained:

“I was sitting with (PCB officials) Salman Naseer and Aliya Rasheed waiting for the chairman to come. But he went to the academy and from there called Naseer and Aliya to meet him and I was told to wait as he would not be seeing me. Only Aliya returned after a time and told me about the inquiry committee,

“I was hurt by this behavior from the Chairman. Every details of agents and their companies who work with players are available with ICC and PCB and it was not such a big deal and I told them I would resign and they can complete their inquiry. Pakistan cricket cannot be run in this manner. It is time the board officials also accepted responsibility for their actions.”

It remains to be seen what will be the future of the Pakistan team and who will be roped in as the new head coach of the team.

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Inzamam-ul-Haq Mohammad Hafeez Pakistan national cricket team Wahab Riaz