Bengaluru, July 18: Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has been serving as the country's chief selector since 2016, has decided to step down at the end of this month.
The pressure was building on the man after Pakistan's streak of poor performance (they lost a number of successive bilateral series before failing to make the World Cup semi-finals) and after the Pakistan Cricket Board decided against extending his contract, the 49-year-old thought of not going for it himself.
However, Inzamam did not forget to ignore one aspect that had often haunted his stint as the chief selector. It is about the allegation that he indulged in nepotism by promoting his nephew Imam-ul-Haq into the national side. He clarified that the young bespectacled southpaw was promoted by batting coach Grant Flower and not him.
Inzamam further said in his defence that when Imam had appeared on the horizon in 2012 by making it to the Under-19 team and becoming the vice-captain to Babar Azam in 2014, he was not anywhere near the selection panel.
Imam averages 54-plus in ODIs; is second-fastest to score 1,000 runs in ODIs
It is unfair on behalf of the critics to accuse Inzamam-ul-Haq of nepotism since Imam has done consistently well in his career with the bat, especially in the ODI format. Making his debut in 2017 and hitting a century in his debut match against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, Imam has gone on to score seven centuries in 36 matches he has played so far.
What is even more impressive is that the left-hand opening batsman averages over 54 in the 50-over version and is the second-fastest to complete 1,000 runs in the same after his opening partner Fakhar Zaman.
If a player is doing well with the bat consistently, it is unjust to accuse him as a product of nepotism. Imam is a young batsman and will only get better with age. He is technically one of the soundest batsman in the current Pakistan batting line-up and it is not right to target him if the team is not doing well overall.