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Monday, January 24, 2011

Inzamam blasts PCB over World Cup build-up

 Inzamam blasts PCB over World Cup build-up

 Updated at: 1607 PST,  Monday, January 24, 2011
Inzamam blasts PCB over World Cup build-up KARACHI: Former Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq Monday accused the sport's authorities of creating factions within the national side by delaying the naming of a captain for next month's World Cup.

Pakistan is the only one of 14 competing teams to have failed to name a captain for the tournament, to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from February 19 to April 2.

Inzamam, who played 120 Test matches for Pakistan scoring 25 centuries, said the delay had disrupted the team's preparations for the showpiece event and stoked divisions among the squad.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last week named a 15-man squad for the tournament but did not name a captain, fanning speculation that current one-day captain Shahid Afridi could be replaced with Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

"With only three weeks left to the World Cup, Pakistan have no captain and the blame goes to the PCB for creating an impasse which has divided the team into two groups, supporting Afridi and Misbah," Inzamam said in an interview.

"In this scenario one cannot have high expectations for the team."

Inzamam was at the helm when Pakistan crashed out in the first round of last World Cup in 2007 -- a tournament overshadowed by the sudden death of coach Bob Woolmer a day after the side's shocking defeat against Ireland.

The team also tumbled out in the first round of the 2003 tournament.

But in 1992 Inzamam's inspired innings in the semi-final and final helped propel Pakistan to their only World Cup triumph.

"I am surprised, why does it always happen to Pakistan?" said Inzamam, who managed just 19 runs in the 2003 World Cup and was blamed for the team's poor performance.

"The PCB has failed to control the situation and if Pakistan fares badly in the World Cup, people will accuse the players and not the board."

Inzamam accused the PCB of in selecting the 15-man World Cup squad without consulting one-day captain Afridi or coach Waqar Younis.

"So if the team loses, the captain and coach will say that it was not their team and was selected without their consent. And they will rightly not accept responsibility for a poor showing," he said.

"When a team is without a captain how can a proper strategy be made? The team is playing a one-day series in New Zealand but they do not know who will be their captain in the World Cup which is very damaging."

Pakistan is in Group A of the World Cup and start their campaign with a match against Kenya at Sri Lankan resort of Hambantota on February 23.

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