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Dubai: Jan 15, 2014
Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq was at his diplomatic best recently when asked whether former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq was instrumental in keeping him out of the national squad for four years between 2003 and 2007.
In an interview given to the Dawn, Misbah, reacting to a noting made by former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman and diplomat Shaharyar Khan, in his book that Inzamam had blocked his return to his squad, said: “It’s a matter of perceptions. I personally want to believe that politics, or whatever, is not what kept me out of Inzamam’s team. I don’t think any captain would like to keep out a player he thinks would be good for the team.”
“I think with Younis Khan , Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam so well established in the middle-order, it was always tough for a middle-order batsman like me to break my way back into the team. Then, all-rounders like Shoaib Malik, Afridi and Razzaq were also part of the Test and ODI squads in those days,” he added.
According to Khan, Misbah was far more educated than Inzamam and had a better cricketing brain. This threatened Inzamam who was very insecure about his captaincy.
Then, early last year a leading Urdu daily alleged that Inzamam, who was trying to change the culture of the team by infusing a particular brand of Islam into the squad, kept Misbah out because he knew Misbah would never have toed the new line.
Misbah’s diplomacy is understandable. He’s still the captain of a volatile cricket team of an equally volatile country.
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