Inzamam-ul-Haq aims to hit new highs in second stint as Pakistan chief selector

Former captain returns to role in crucial year for team with Asia Cup and World Cup looming large

Inzamam-ul-Haq last held the post of Pakistan's chief selector from 2016 to 2019. AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq begins his second stint as Pakistan's chief selector aiming to improve on his previous tenure, which saw the team win the 2017 Champions Trophy in England.

He returned to the role on Monday ahead of a crucial period for the Pakistan side, with the Asia Cup and the 50-over World Cup looming this year.

The 53-year-old's first task will be choosing a squad for the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan in Sri Lanka, which begins on August 22 and the Asia Cup that follows. Those squads will be announced at a press conference on August 10.

The Asia Cup, which will be jointly hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka, is due to start on August 30, while the World Cup takes place in India from October 5 to November 19.

Pakistan will be hoping for a repeat of the 2017 Champions Trophy triumph that saw them thrash hosts England by eight wickets in the last four and arch-rivals India by 180 runs in the final at The Oval in London

“I had a good run in the last tenure,” Inzamam said. “We had famous victories with the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 being the highlight, but my most important achievement is that around 70 to 80 per cent of the cricketers – selected back then – form the core of today's sides. That team was in transition, but this team is stable and I would not face the same challenges.

“Heading a selection committee is already a tough job in Pakistan, but it is going to be more challenging this time with the ACC Men's Asia Cup and ICC Men's Cricket World Cup around the corner followed by the tour of Australia. But, I know I can deliver in this role and I will try to do better than I did the last time. Despite the paucity of time, we will announce the best possible sides.”

Inzamam, who played 499 international matches from 1991-2007, previously held the chief selector's post between 2016 and 2019 during which time he helped unearth what is now the core of the current team.

“I am delighted that Inzamam-ul-Haq has agreed to head our national men's selection committee at a crucial juncture. He is a legend and has served the game with dignity,” PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf said.

“Inzamam's last tenure brought us success as we not only won the ICC Champions Trophy, but also unearthed some outstanding talent that continues to serve Pakistan cricket to date. I have no doubt that his new innings will add to the laurels and bring more talented cricketers to light.”

The chief selector's post had remained vacant since Haroon Rasheed quit last month. The selection committee, which also includes team director Mickey Arthur, head coach Grant Bradburn, and secretary Hasan Cheema will be in charge of picking the senior men's team and Pakistan Shaheens.

Inzamam had been appointed a member of the new Pakistan Cricket Board technical committee, which is headed by Misbah-ul-Haq and also included Mohammad Hafeez.

However, after being named as the new chief selector, Inzamam will not be part of that committee and the PCB will name his replacement in due course.

Updated: August 08, 2023, 3:16 PM