Captaincy issue dividing Pak team ahead of WC: Inzamam

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Karachi, Jan 24 (PTI) Former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq isthe latest to criticise Pakistan Cricket Board''s decision todelay the announcement of captain for the World Cup and saidby doing this the PCB has created two divisions within thenational team.

"By not announcing the captain just three weeks beforethe World Cup, the board has split the players into ShahidAfridi and Misbah-ul Haq groups," Inzamam said.

The former batsman, who represented his country in 120Tests and 388 ODIs including five World Cup appearances, saidthe PCB had created an unnecessary crisis over the captaincyissue and it will affect the team in the mega-event startingFebruary 19 in Dhaka.

"I just don''t understand what they are trying to do. Insuch circumstances I don''t have much high hopes from this teamin the coming tournament," Inzamam told the ''Jang'' dailynewspaper.

"Human beings are powerless against fate and you cannever rule out a miracle from this team. But at the moment itlooks to me their fate will be the same what was in 2003 and2007," he said.

The PCB has announced their final World Cup squad butstopped short of naming the captain, a move which did not gowell with many former players including team''s chief coachWaqar Younis.

While Afridi is presently leading Pakistan in the ODIseries in New Zealand, Misbah, who captained the side in theTest matches, is his deputy.

Both the players are seen as strong contenders forcaptaincy in the World Cup and indications are that Afridi''schances of retaining the position will depend on his and theteam''s performance in the ongoing series against New Zealand.

Inzamam, who led Pakistan in the last World Cup, said inthe existing circumstances he feared for the worst.

"I just hope the disappointments of last World Cup is notrepeated," he said. .

Pakistan were knocked out in the first round of the 2007 Caribbean World Cup.

The 40-year-old right-hander said the ongoing problemshave proved that the present office bearers of PCB have failedmiserably in discharging their duties.

"The board has failed badly in its administration. It isvery disappointing to see the indisciplined functioning of theboard officials.

"If this team does not perform in the World Cupunfortunately, again it would be the players who will have tobear the criticism and some may have to see their careerssacrificed," Inzamam said.

Inzamam said if the PCB wanted to make Misbah the captainfor all formats of the game they could do it but he should begiven more time to settle down in the team.

"To change the captain at this time would be disastrousfor the team. It wouldn''t work. In 2003 also we faced asimilar situation when Waqar was the captain. But their weretalks of making Wasim Akram the captain which divided the teaminto groups and we performed poorly in that tournament," herecalled.

"The World Cup team has been picked without the input orconsent of the captain or coach so why blame them if it flopsin the World Cup," he added.

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