The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Infighting’ led to Sohail & Co. removal
- PCB brass felt low-profile selection committee would serve interests best

Calcutta: Off and on, major differences have kept surfacing in the Pakistan dressing room. Nothing unusual there. Yet, in what probably is unprecedented, “infighting” became a feature of the last selection committee, chaired by the temperamental Aamer Sohail.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, reports about jumbo differences “on a regular basis” is the No. 1 reason why the fairly new Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Shaharyar Khan, removed Sohail and Co. last week.

In any case, Khan wouldn’t have been comfortable interacting with the blunt (and controversial former captain) Sohail.

“Every now and then, there were leaks about infighting among the selectors… That definitely wasn’t healthy… Moreover, the quintet didn’t get along with the captain (Inzamam-ul Haq) and coach (Javed Miandad)… Just about everybody’s relationship got strained… Therefore, they had to go,” is how a source put it.

Khan, one understands, consulted chief executive Rameez Raja before sacking Sohail and the rest. Apparently, both felt a “low profile” committee would best serve the country’s interests. Additionally, they didn’t want controversies in the lead-up to the biggest series in years, versus India.

Accordingly, Sohail and his colleagues (Shafiq Ahmed, Salim Yousuf, Shoaib Mohammed and Farrukh Zaman) were replaced by Wasim Bari, Iqbal Qasim, Ehteshamuddin and Sultan Rana.

Incidentally, the committee has “intentionally” been kept smaller, with the soft-spoken Bari back in the chair less than a year after being removed by Khan’s predecessor, Lt Gen. Tauqir Zia.

Meanwhile, India’s forthcoming tour of Pakistan, which will feature both Tests and ODIs, is going to be telecast on TEN Sports.

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