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PCB chief, selectors resign
Dr Nasim Ashraf

Karachi: Heads rolled in the Pakistan cricket establishment on Tuesday with cricket board chairman and the entire selection committee resigning in the wake of Inzamam-ul Haq & Co.’s inglorious exit from the World Cup.

A day after captain Inzamam announced his retirement from one-day Internationals following the shock defeat against Ireland and the mysterious death of coach Bob Woolmer, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf and all the selectors put in their papers accepting moral responsibility for the debacle.

According to PCB sources, Dr Ashraf has submitted his resignation to President Pervez Musharraf, who is also the chief patron of the board.

It was still not known whether the president had accepted his resignation yet.

Musharraf, however, has said he was dejected and distressed over Pakistan’s disastrous show in the World Cup. In a television interview, he said there was a need to review in detail the reasons for the team’s flop show.

Musharraf also made it clear that now there would be a massive overhaul of the cricket administration.

Dr Ashraf had taken over as the PCB chairman last October after the resignation of Shaharyar Khan and the local media had launched a scathing attack on him, demanding his resignation for Pakistan’s World Cup ouster.

Initially, Dr Ashraf had said he would not resign as he had been in the board only for six months and would announce a new action plan for the future.

But the PCB chief on Tuesday told reporters in Mirpurkhas that he was disturbed with the team’s performance and wanted to apologise to the nation for letting them down.

Before Dr Ashraf’s resignation, the iconic Imran Khan in a television interview had said: “I am ready to sit down with the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, and see what could we do to bring the nation out of this cricketing crisis.”

Hours after Dr Ashraf’s decision, the national selection panel headed by Wasim Bari, also tendered their resignations.

Bari said he had sent the resignations of the entire committee, which also included former Test players Iqbal Qasim and Ehteshamuddin, to the PCB.

“I think it does not matter if we were responsible completely or partially for the team’s poor performance. The thing is we have to accept the fact we were part of a cricket set-up that failed in the eyes of the nation,” Bari, a former Test captain and wicketkeeper, said.

“We have sent in our resignations because we feel that is the least we can do after what has happened.”

Bari served since 1998 on the national selection committee and sources said he had only relented to resign after being pressurised by his fellow selectors.

“It is the least we can do specially after the price Bob Woolmer paid for the team’s poor performance,” one selector said.

Bari also criticised captain Inzamam for not leading the side from the front. “Inzamam led without commitment and the team looked like an army without a general,” Bari said.

“The commitment comes from the top and it doesn’t come from anywhere else and he (Inzamam) could have had a better farewell,” he added.

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