Former captain Mohammad Hafeez has stepped down from PCB's Cricket Technical Committee ahead of the ODI World Cup shortly after a review meeting of Pakistan's poor performance in the Asia Cup.
During the two-day session, two changes were made with pacer Zaman Khan and spinner Abrar Ahmed in line to replace injured Naseem Shah and allrounder Faheem Ashraf when the final 15-member World Cup squad is announced on Friday.
"I decided to leave Pakistan cricket technical committee. I served as honorary member. I would like to thank Zaka Ashraf sb for giving me this opportunity. I m always available whenever Zaka Ashraf sb need my honest suggestions for Pakistan cricket. My best wishes for Pakistan cricket as always," Hafeez wrote on 'X'.
Apart from Hafeez, the review meeting, which was called by Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf following the national team's loss to India and Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, was attended by captain Babar Azam, head coach Grant Bradburn, Chief Operating Officer Salman Nasser, Head of International Cricket Usman Wahla and former skipper Misbah ul Haq.
Team director Mickey Arthur and the bowling, batting and fielding coaches of the team on line along with vice captain Shadab Khan were also there in the meeting.
Hafeez's announcement has added more fuel to a controversy over why chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq chose not to attend the review meeting.
A reliable source close to Inzamam told PTI that the former captain and a highly respected figure in Pakistan cricket had decided against attending the review meeting because he was not convinced it was the right time to do such an exercise.
"Inzamam is a very strong headed person and he didn’t agree with the move by Chairman Zaka Ashraf to call such a review meeting and make Babar and Bradburn face uncomfortable questions by Misbah, Hafeez and other board officials," the source said.
He said Inzamam had not attended the meeting in person or on line on both days but he did reach the Gaddafi stadium on Thursday after the meeting was over and had a one-on-one meeting with Zak Ashraf to get final approval for the World Cup squad.
"Inzamam having been a former captain and top cricketer himself, made it clear he was not happy with the review process as this was the time to encourage and boost the team instead of putting them through an inquisition and showing distrust in their abilities," the source said.
Inzamam was apparently also not happy that Misbah and Hafeez had agreed to take part in the whole exercise.
Another source disclosed that Babar and Bradburn had faced some very uncomfortable questions and one participant at the meeting had insisted on making wholesale changes in the team including having a new captain, a proposal that was gunned down by others.
The source also made it clear that Inzamam would be travelling to India for the World Cup as he also did this in his previous tenure as chief selector between 2016 and 2019 and this was part of his contract.
Referring to the Hafeez's resignation, the source anticipated that he would be unhappy as his suggestions were not accepted by Babar or the team management at the meeting.
"Inzamam was adamant that this was not the time for questioning the team performance as there was no time to do anything different and he didn’t like his selected players being questioned," the source added.
After a nearly 5 hour review process only two changes have been made to the squad that played in the Asia Cup and the PCB has left it up to the chief selector and captain to decide if they want to take one or two players as travelling reserves for the World Cup with opener Shan Masood expected to be one of them if done.
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