Performance only criteria for selection, Inzamam tells Imam

Chief selector warns nephew he needs to be consistent to cement spot in national team

Performance only criteria for selection, Inzamam tells Imam

Chief selector Inzamamul Haq has sent a stern warning to his nephew Imamul Haq that performance is the only criteria to keep his place in the team.

Inzamam received criticism following the selection of Imam for the Test tour of Ireland and England, which started with a match against Ireland in Dublin from May 11.

However, Inzamam, in an interview, shrugged off criticism and once again revealed that Imam was selected after positive feedback from head coach Mickey Arthur and batting coach Grant Flower.

“When it comes to selection of Imam, I take a back seat,” he said while speaking to Ramiz Raja. “He [Imam] was selected after Arthur and Flower gave positive feedback as they’ve worked with him. I’ve been criticised for selecting him in the 50-over format as well but he scored a century on his debut. I know he is under pressure at the start of his career because of our family relation, but even he knows that if he won’t perform on this tour, he will not have a place in the team.”

Talking about the non-selection of seasoned campaigners Fawad Alam and Wahab Riaz, Inzamam revealed interesting reasons.

“Saad Ali was preferred over Fawad because he scored more runs than him on green tops in the recently concluded domestic season,” he said. “Wahab is undoubtedly the quickest bowler in the country, but in the first half of the season in England, seam and swing is of pivotal importance. I’ve discussed the issue with both cricketers and explained to them the reasons of their exclusion as well.”

Talking about pressure of being a chief selector, Inzamam said his focus is all about doing best for the country.

“I try to ignore criticism as I’ve bigger goals,” he said. “I am just used to such criticism to be honest. Every time I announced the team, people try to make me feel like there is something wrong with it, so I don’t give them much importance. Imran Khan used to say that if you keep thinking about failure, you won’t be able to succeed, and I follow that rule and do not fear failing in a particular series.”

The former Pakistan skipper said he focuses on youngsters more because they are the furture of the national team.

“Selecting a national team is a tough job. But my focus is on creating a pool of players for the future and therefore I believe in promoting youngsters who have done really well in the shorter formats, and I hope they will live up to the expectations in the five-day format as well,” he said.