Imam-ul-Haq    Getty Images
Imam-ul-Haq Getty Images

Pakistan announced 15-man squad for the upcoming ODIs versus Sri Lanka. Chief selector and former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq’s nephew, Imam-ul-Haq, has been drafted in place of Azhar Ali. Inzamam defended his nephew’s inclusion and stated that he earned his place owing to good domestic performances as an opener, thus making him the ideal replacement for Azhar who isn’t fully fit.

Inzamam told, “If you say that he is my nephew, then the selection was tough. But if you see the performance which he has given, (they’re) good. Our plan was to continue with the Champions trophy squad, but unfortunately Azhar Ali has a knee problem. So we needed one opener, and in my opinion (Imam’s) was the best performance amongst the openers.”

Inzamam added, “Look, you have to notice the talent and what he can do. His performance was good in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Then he scored two hundreds for the Under-23 team in the triangular tournament in Bangladesh. He scored a hundred in Sialkot. Even Mickey (Arthur) and Sarfraz (Ahmed) gave (their) opinions. We all consult each other.:”

On Umar Akmal making a comeback, Inzamam stated, “I have not spoken to him after the ban, but I tried to make him understand a few things previously. We can’t shut the door on any player. His issue is fitness and now another issue is discipline. He needs to improve on these issues and then he will be considered.”