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Sunday April 21, 2024

Inzamam quits on ‘conflict of interest’ allegation

Inzamam-ul-Haq has stepped down from his role as the chief selector over allegations of conflict of interest

By Asher Butt
October 31, 2023
Pakistans former Test captain Inzamam-ul-Haq. — X/@TheRealPCB
Pakistan's former Test captain Inzamam-ul-Haq. — X/@TheRealPCB 

LAHORE: Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan captain, has stepped down from his role as the chief selector over allegations of conflict of interest.

This decision came in the wake of the team’s underwhelming performance in the ongoing World Cup being held in India. As Pakistan’s cricket enthusiasts grapple with their team’s unimpressive run, this resignation has added another layer of intrigue and concern to the episode.

Inzamam came to the PCB headquarters on Monday to see the chairman but Zaka Ashraf was not available for the meeting. So the chief selector returned without meeting the chairman. Disheartened Inzamam sent his resignation to the board, sources revealed.

It has also come to light that Inzamam has been facing allegations regarding his shareholding in “Yazoo International Limited,” a company linked to player agent Talha Rehmani. This revelation has raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

In a statement later in the day, Inzamam expressed his reasons for stepping down, saying, “People speak without research. Questions were raised, so I decided that it was better I resign.”

Inzamam’s decision to resign comes in the midst of allegations and rumors surrounding his potential involvement in player agent firms. Reports had suggested that he held a stake in such companies, casting a cloud of suspicion over his role as Chief Selector. In response, Inzamam has offered his full cooperation with any investigation conducted by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). He stated, “If PCB wants to investigate, I am available. People are talking [about me] without having any kind of proof; if there is any, then bring it. I have asked the PCB to do the same.” Inzamam vehemently denied any connection with player agent companies, saying, “I have no connection with the player agent company; these types of accusations hurt me.” Inzamam emphasised his commitment to clearing the air and resolving the situation, stating, “I will sit down with the PCB officials once the situation is back to normal.”

He noted that he had been informed of the creation of a five-member committee to investigate the matter, prompting his decision to step aside during the inquiry process. When contacted, an official confided that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has set up a five-member fact-finding committee to investigate the allegations. “The committee will submit its report and any recommendations to the PCB Management in an expeditious manner,” said the official. Talha Rehmani, the player agent in question, represents several prominent Pakistani cricketers, including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi. The PCB has been embroiled in disputes with the players regarding central contracts. These disagreements have not only affected the players’ morale but have also posed challenges to the overall cohesiveness of the team. PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf said that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the issue. “The matter has been reported on Saturday and we will call the chief selector to know his point of view,” said Zaka and added that further decisions about players and others involved would be taken after listening to their side of the story.