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Inzamam disappointed; Pakistan stunned
Samiul Hasan |
August 23, 2005 21:56 IST
Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul Haq expressed surprise and disappointment at being overlooked for the ICC Test and One-day International teams for October's Super Series against Australia.
"I would be lying if I said I am not disappointed. Yes, I am. But my disappointment is not to an extent that would demoralise or depress me. As far as I am concerned, my top priority is Pakistan and I am still focused on this year's home series against England," Inzamam said from Lahore on Tuesday.
Inzamam, who has scored 10,933 ODI and 7,620 Test runs and is the mainstay of a suspect Pakistan batting, was a surprise omission from the squad named by chairman of selectors Sunil Gavaskar in Melbourne.
This year Inzamam, a veteran of 101 Tests, averages 94.67 in four Tests while from 16 one-dayers, he averages 51.23.
"My confidence is still sky high and I am aware of my targetů that is to beat England in the home series.
"Nevertheless, I thought I had a good chance; to qualify in the World XI that would have given me the right preparation before a tough series against England.
"Just for curiosity's sake, I am interested to know what was the criterion for selection. I would appreciate if any of the selectors explain why I could not make it to the squad although their explanation would neither turn things around nor they would satisfy me," he said.
Even as Inzamam tried to play down his shocking exclusion, Pakistan's former stalwarts rallied around the big man and slammed the ICC selectors for "mind-boggling" selection.
When Hanif Mohammad was reached for his comments on Inzamam's exclusion, his first reaction was: "Please read the team sheet again and that too carefully."
When insisted that Inzamam's name was not there, he said, "There must have been a typographical error because no sane selector can drop such a great batsman."
Batting great Zaheer Abbas termed Inzamam's omission as a setback to the entire nation.
"I am sure that the entire nation is in a shock because he is a world class player and deserves to be in any team. To me, this World XI is without a spine because there is no Inzamam."
Zaheer said he could understand Inzamam's pain and agony.
"Whatever you may say, but the bottom line is that it's an honour to be selected for the World XI. It [selection] justifies your status as a true world-class player. He must be down and disappointed, but I am sure that he will rise and through his performance would make the selectors rue their decision."
Javed Miandad was even more critical.
"It is a mind-boggling decision. What was the selection criteria because as far as I am concerned, when you select a World XI, you consider two things: present form of the player and the status of his team.
"Inzamam is in terrific form while Pakistan is one of the top teams. I don't think the selectors can justify their decision to leave Inzamam out," Miandad, under whose captaincy Inzamam made his Test debut nearly 13 years ago, said.