Lotus365 Lotus365 News Inzamam-ul-Haq steps down as Pakistan chief selector amid conflict of interest allegations

Inzamam-ul-Haq steps down as Pakistan chief selector amid conflict of interest allegations

Inzamam-ul-Haq steps down as Pakistan chief selector amid conflict of interest allegations post thumbnail image

Inzamam-ul-Haq ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/inzamam-ul-haq-40570) has resigned as Pakistan chief selector with immediate effect after meeting PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf in Lahore today after uncomfortable questions around a potential conflict of interest were raised.
Reports in the Pakistan media emerged that Inzamam is one of four active directors in a UK-based company called Yazoo International Ltd. Another director at the company is Talha Rehmani, managing director of Saya Corporation, an agency that represents many of the Pakistan cricket team’s most prominent players, including Babar Azam ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/babar-azam-348144), Shaheen Shah Afridi ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/shaheen-shah-afridi-1072470) and Mohammad Rizwan ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/mohammad-rizwan-323389). According to gov.uk, a UK government public sector information website, Rizwan is also a director at Yazoo alongside Inzamam. The company secretary is Intisar-ul-Haq, Inzamam’s brother.

All three directors and the company secretary were appointed on 7 December 2020, and when Inzamam was announced as Pakistan chief selector earlier this year, his involvement – or that of his brother’s, Rizwan’s or Rehmani’s – with Yazoo was not made public. This has raised uncomfortable questions about whether it was fit and proper for the cricket’s team’s national selector to have a direct stake in a company that had Pakistan cricket’s most prominent player agent as a director. Rizwan’s name as another director throws up further questions still, with a chief selector sharing a stake in a company both with a player subject to his selection decisions, and an agent who represents that player.

“I am stepping down from the post to offer the PCB the opportunity to conduct a transparent inquiry about the conflict of interest allegations raised in the media,” Inzamam said after tendering his resignation, but said he would take the job back if he was cleared in the probe into the conflict of interest charges.

“f the committee finds me not guilty, I will resume my role as the chief selector,” he said.

PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf told a local journalist that the PCB would “look into” these allegations. Inzamam was summoned to the PCB headquarters earlier today, and ESPNcricinfo understands he had an hour-long meeting with Ashraf. A source at the PCB says the chairman did not ask or pressure Inzamam to resign, but did inform him of the board’s intention to form a fact-finding committee to determine if any wrongdoing had taken place. Inzamam then tendered his resignation.

Soon after, the PCB announced it had set up a five-member fact-finding committee “to investigate allegations in respect of conflict of interest reported in the media pertaining to the team selection process” and that findings would be submitted “in an expeditious manner”.

The wording of the PCB statement suggests it could be taking the matter more seriously than such conflicts have historically been treated. While there is no evidence to suggest wrongdoing by Inzamam or any other party, media reports had merely speculated on whether it was appropriate for Inzamam to be chief selector and director at Yazoo concurrently. The PCB appears to have directly linked the conflict of interest to the team selection process, a more significant charge than mere injudiciousness.

All this comes amidst a backdrop of deepening chaos at the PCB both on and off-field. The PCB management committee, which Ashraf heads, sees its tenure officially end next week, but there are no signs yet on whether elections for the PCB chairman will be held, or if Ashraf will be a contender for the role. On the field, Pakistan have lost four games in a row ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-2023-24-1367856/points-table-standings) at the World Cup for the first time ever, and are on the brink of a first-round exit.

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