Monday, October 30, 2023
Pakistan cricket team's Chief Selector Inzamam ul Haq Monday resigned from his post amid the World Cup 2023 after allegations surfaced that he was a partner in a company that manages players.
"People speak without research. Questions were raised on me so I decided that it was better I resign," Inzamam said in a statement according to Geo News.
There were allegations that Inzamam held shares in a company owned by players' agent Talha Rehmani. This disclosure sparked concerns regarding potential conflicts of interest, given that Rehmani represents several of Pakistan's leading cricketers, including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Furthermore, there are additional queries surrounding whether Inzamam's dual role as both chief selector and a shareholder in a company that represents top cricketers might have an influence on player selection decisions.
The development comes as the Pakistan team, on the verge of an exit from the World Cup in India, is already facing criticism, and the board is also involved in a controversy after the PCB head leaked skipper Babar Azam's private conversation with a top board official.
In the statement, Inzamam — who was appointed to the post in August — mentioned that he was available if the cricket board would initiate an investigation.
"People are making statements without research. I told the PCB to do their research. I have no relation with the player-agent company," he clarified.
Inzamam, who served in the same post from August 2016 until July 2019, said he was "saddened" by such allegations. "I told the board that if they had any doubts, they should investigate it."
In a statement later released by the PCB, Inzamam was quoted as saying: "I am stepping down from the post to offer the PCB the opportunity to conduct a transparent inquiry about the conflict of interest allegations raised in the media. If the committee finds me not guilty, I will resume my role as the chief selector."
In response, the PCB said it has set up a five-member fact-finding committee to investigate allegations in respect of conflict of interest reported in the media pertaining to the team selection process.
"The committee will submit its report and any recommendations to the PCB Management in an expeditious manner," the board's brief statement mentioned.
Geo News reporter Sohail Imran mentioned that the company is involved in negotiating the terms of contracts for the players.
He added that the role of the agent is not to lobby, but it involves players' contracts in franchises, getting them roles in advertisements, and making them brand ambassadors of an organisation.
The reporter mentioned that when the players' manager gets a stronghold on the issues and the athletes associated with them become famous, then they begin dictating the board.
"This is what we saw in the central contracts," he said, adding that sources had told him that Inzamam had played a key role in bridging the gap between the players and the PCB and increasing the players' salaries.
It is also alleged that Inzamam favours those players associated with the players' management company. "And yes, the company acts like a power group."
"In my point of view, Inzamam ul Haq should not have resigned. A person resigns when they are guilty," former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq told Geo News.
He said that if Inzamam wasn't involved in the company, then he should have stayed and let the investigation run its course.
"If I haven't done such a thing, then why should I leave the job? It could be that his resignation is temporary and he may join once more," he said.
He noted that he had never worked with such a company. "I also don't understand the need for [these companies]. Definitely, the agents benefit from it the most. Their PR also increases."