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Inzamam-ul-Haq steps down as Pakistan chief selector

Inzamam-ul-Haq has announced he will not request for an extension to his contract as Pakistan's chief selector and is thus due to resign from his post on July 31.

“After more than three years as Chair of the Pakistan Men’s Selection Committee, I have decided not to seek a renewal of my contract," he told reporters in Lahore.

Inzamam was instated as Pakistan's chief selector in April 2016 with his tenure seeing Pakistan climb to the number one spot in the Test rankings and achieve their maiden Champions Trophy title in 2017.

Inzamam's decision to quit comes in the aftermath of Pakistan's first-round exit from the 2019 World Cup due to an inferior net run-rate relative to New Zealand's metric since the two teams possessed an equal number of points.

He declared his desire to see the board work towards a long term plan and give time to the new selection committee to build a team for the 2023 World Cup.

"With the ICC World Test Championship, due to get underway in September, the ICC T20 World Cup in 2020 and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, I believe it is the right time for the Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint a new chief selector who can bring new ideas and fresh thinking," the former captain said.

When asked if he would be willing to serve the PCB in another capacity, Inzamam did not rule out such a career option.

"I am a cricketer, this is my bread and butter. If the board offers me another role, apart from selection, I would consider it."

'Pakistan defeated the two finalists'

Pakistan's lopsided tournament campaign saw them fare poorly in the first half of the World Cup where they slumped to three losses in their opening five games including a washout against Sri Lanka.

Sarfaraz Ahmed's side then gained momentum towards the end of the group stage as they marched to four consecutive wins and narrowly missed out on securing a semi-final berth.

Also Read: Sarfaraz rues 'unhelpful' pitches for inferior net run-rate

In the face of heated criticism directed towards the team, Inzamam believed Pakistan performed decently to finish their World Cup journey on a high.

"Pakistan defeated the two finalists, won four matches. But they were unlucky that they were ruled out due to the net run-rate."

Inzamam, who previously coached Afghanistan's national side, had also made a visit to England and interacted with the players during the tournament.

'It's been a pleasure to watch the youngsters progress'

Although Inzamam was accused of nepotistic practices for selecting his nephew Imam-ul-Haq in the team, the left-handed opening batsman went on to establish his batting credentials as one of the mainstays in the line-up.

Similarly, Inzamam's stint has been witness to several youngsters being provided a chance to prove their talent on the biggest stage.

Players such as Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf and Shaheen Shah Afridi made their debut in the last couple of years and have been most instrumental in lifting Pakistan to acquire a dominant hold over the number one ranking in T20 internationals.

"The Pakistan cricket team has come a long way since the departures of stalwarts like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan in May 2017 and is now destined for improved results as the youngsters have grown in experience and stature.

“It has been a pleasure to see these players grow and make names for themselves in international cricket.

"I will follow their progress with interest because I firmly believe these players have all the ingredients to take the Pakistan cricket team to greater heights."

Inzamam admitted the team could not live up to the expectations of the Pakistan cricket supporters but emphasized his intentions were clear to select the best possible unit.

“The team could have performed better during my time than the results reflect and I may have inadvertently overlooked some potentially deserving players, but I have always had the best interests of Pakistan cricket foremost in my heart. I hope the passionate Pakistan cricket fans will understand and can see this in my decisions."

He expressed gratitude to the contributions of head coach Mickey Arthur and captain Sarfaraz Ahmed for working together for the betterment of Pakistan.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my fellow selectors, who worked tireless behind the scenes, as well as captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and coach Mickey Arthur.

"I think we worked very well as a group, stayed together in difficult times, and continued to collectively move in the same direction," he added.

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