Sports

Changes in team necessary after NZ debacle: Inzamam

Disappointed at Pakistan’s pathetic performance in the recently-held ODI series in New Zealand, chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq on Thursday gave a clear signal of changes in the national team.
“When a team lose a series 0-5, changes are necessary,” Inzamam told reporters at the Model Town Club ground while inaugurating a local limited-overs tournament.
“At the same time, I would say that we also need to play more one-day cricket at domestic and international level as we have been playing a significant number of Twenty20 matches [of late].”
Sarfraz Ahmed-captained Pakistan last year rose from nowhere to clinch the prestigious ICC Champions Trophy in England in June followed by a 5-0 series victory against Sri Lanka in the UAE late last year. However, the ODI team suffered a humiliating 0-5 clean sweep in the away series against the Kiwis last month. Following the ODIs, Pakistan’s T20 outfit clicked to win the three-match series 2-1.
“You have to face different environments in T20s, ODIs and Test matches and our players should be prepared to perform in all conditions,” Inzamam, a veteran of 120 Tests and 378 ODIs, emphasised.
“The PCB is also worried about the scanty number of one-day matches that are held on our domestic circuit. We organise only one National One-day Cup whereas more should be held,” Inzamam, the former captain of Pakistan, underlined.
Besides increasing the number of first-class matches top cricketers should also be available to play as many domestic matches as possible to bring improvement at the domestic level, the chief selector added.
To a question, Inzamam said though captain and coach were the ones who finalise the playing XI, as chief selector he should also have a role in it.
“Yes, it [selection of playing XI] is the basic job of coach and captain. However, my input should also be there to see what is going on. Then there is pitch factor which we have to consider while selecting the final XI,” Inzamam said.
He however added, “While saying this I do not mean that taking chief selector’s input [by sending him with the national squad] for picking playing XI should be made a must thing. It is just a matter to think that if we have the resources we should take advantage of it.”
To a question, he lamented that the players of the old city had lost the only ground facility available to them — at Minto Parks — which had produced many international-level players and Test captains.
“About half of cricket in Lahore is played at Minto Parks and I think demolishing the facility there without giving any replacement [for cricket-related activity] will not serve the game. Therefore, this matter should be considered by the officials concerned at the top level,” Inzamam insisted.
“I have been doing net practice at Muslim Gymkhana in Minto Parks where a good number of clubs also have their net practice sessions. Only Muslim Gymkhana have given eight to ten international players to the country,” he said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Punjab government first dismantled all cricket, hockey and football grounds of the Minto Parks to build the Greater Iqbal Parks.
Later, a couple of year ago, the government also built new facilities for cricket clubs. However, a couple of months ago, again it stopped the clubs from practising at the Parks — to build a new sports complex.