|Player:||Inzamam-ul-Haq, Wasim Akram, Moin Khan|
DateLine: 3rd February 2005
Pakistan's great fast bowler, Wasim Akram has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to not try and chop current skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq ahead of the tour to India. The Pakistan squad will be leaving for another historic tour, the first full one yo India in six years, on 25th February.
Wasim, who was the team's captain in the 1990's felt there was no other cricketer around who could lead the team on this 3-Test and 5-ODI tour. Before retiring Wasim had taken 414 Test and 502 one-day wickets.
"If you, for a while, think who can replace Inzamam, no name springs into mind. If there is a replacement, tell me and I will try to support him. Naturally, I will debate why that player should replace Inzamam. But as far as I know, Inzamam is the best man at the moment to lead the team on the tour which is very crucial and difficult," Wasim Akram said.
Wasim had led Pakistan to 2-1 win over India in 1999 and was also a member of the winning team in 1986. Wasim was speaking to a television channel during an interview.
He added, "It's injustice with Inzamam if his leadership qualities are judged by the team's performance in Australia. You have to understand that Australia's tour, historically, has always been the most difficult. In my career, I have visited Australia, at least, 15 times and every time I have learnt or faced something new. From injuries to team selection, there are problems after problems. We have to realize that Inzamam has got a very young and inexperienced team at his disposal. But he is trying his best."
In Pakistan there is ongoing debate questioning Inzamam's continued captaincy although he has been appointed Pakistan captain till the tour of West Indies in June 2005.
Moin Khan, another former captain has gone out to warn PCB that it cannot afford any experiments for the Indian tour. "Inzamam has been in-charge since October 2003 and he should be allowed the complete his tenure. The change (in captaincy) at this stage will be counter-productive."
Moin went on to argue that when critics point fingers at Inzamam's leadership, they should remember, while missing his top players, the big man took the field against formidable opponents. "I know Inzi for 15 years and he is not type of a character who will show his frustration and anger (on the pitch), particularly on younger players. He is someone who likes to talk to youngsters and give them confidence. That's precisely why he is so well respected.
"But don't be deceived by his looks. He tears you apart in the dressing room or during team meetings (for poor performance or for not following game plan). But on ground, he will be supportive and will never show gestures which probably the critics want to see," Moin said.