I was bypassed on Miandad~~s sacking: Inzamam

Published: Monday, June 21, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Islamabad:Expressing surprise over the sacking of coach Javed Miandad, Pakistan cricket captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said he was not taken into confidence by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in the appointment of Englishman Bob Woolmer.

Inzamam, who returned from a vacation in USA on Saturday, said he was sad over the development but he would go along with the decision of the Board to replace Miandad with Woolmer.

"Javed bhai is a great cricketer and was sincere as a coach. I didn't have any communication problem with him. We collectively tried to do what was best for the team. But it is a Board decision and I have to go with it. Their decision obviously is based on future planning," he was quoted as saying in local daily The News on Monday.

The skipper said he had no idea that Miandad was going to be replaced by Woolmer. "Initially, I heard something about the Board trying to get a foreign coach. But then later on I got the impression things were settled between the Board and Miandad and he would continue."

However, looking ahead, Inzamam said his team should not have any problem with a "proven performer" as Woolmer at the helm while also stating that there should not be any communication problem with the former South African coach.

The prolific batsman did not predict how the team would perform under him and Woolmer in next month's Asia Cup but said he was hopeful of things going right.

"I am hopeful things will go right. I know people are disappointed at the way we played against India. It is also a fact that Woolmer has a big responsibility on him now as Pakistan coach.

"But I think our aims are the same -- to inject more discipline and professionalism in this team and try to ensure it gets consistent results."

Inzamam said there was no shortage of talent in the Pakistan team except that the players were "a bit lax" in terms of organisation and discipline on the field. "And hopefully Woolmer will be able to introduce both these things among our players to make them consistent performers."

On the row with fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, Inzamam said, "Shoaib or any other player, they will all have to be supremely fit for the Asia Cup. I have nothing personal against Shoaib but he has had injury problems and I want to ensure he is there for us firing away on all cylinders in the Asia Cup," he said.

Inzamam was referring to the inability of Andrew Gray to join the team. The South African has informed the PCB that he could not take up the assignment because his wife was expecting.

The name of former South African physiotherapist Craig Smith is doing the round in this regard. However, Smith is attached with English County Nottinghamshire and he would be available only after the current season.

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