PCB assures Inzamam of full faith following nepotism accusations

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NEWS DESK

A meeting between the PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq would appear to have ended the uncertainty surrounding Inzamam’s role in a selection controversy that arose over the past few days. The meeting, requested by Inzamam after he took exception to rumours circulating in the Pakistani media he had abused his position to try and secure a favourable selection outcome for his son in the Pakistan U-19 squad. The PCB are understood to have given him full assurance of their trust and support.

Inzamam, incensed by the accusation, released a video message categorically denying it was true, saying he would resign if that were proven. At the same time, he challenged the person responsible for the origin of the accusation to do the same if he failed to prove the claim. He is also believed to be assessing his legal options.

The origin of the story appeared to be an off-the-record chat between a Pakistani journalist and former international player Abdul Qadir. According to the journalist, Qadir had said the chief selector of the Pakistan U-19 team Basit Ali had been phoned by Inzamam, who requested him to include his son, Ibtasam-ul-Haq in the side. Once the story broke, Qadir stood by this version of events, while Basit denied the conversation, either with Qadir or with Inzamam, ever took place.

“I strongly refute this unfounded and malicious claim,” Inzamam wrote in a tweet on Wednesday. “For the record, no one from junior selection committee was approached and there is no truth in this. I am taking this matter quite seriously and will be meeting PCB chairman for an open inquiry on this matter tomorrow.”

Nepotism is a particularly prickly issue for Inzamam, particularly in the wake of Imam-ul-Haq‘s selection for the national side last year. Imam is Inzamam’s nephew, and there had been questions about whether Inzamam’s influence on selection had played a part in securing a spot for Imam. However, Imam’s bright start to international cricket – he made four centuries in his first nine ODIs, including on debut – have largely dispelled those concerns. Cricinfo.com

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