Inzamam fears for Pakistan
Inzamam-ul-Haq has warned excluding Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan may destroy Pakistan.
Last Updated: 10/03/10 6:35pm
Former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq believes the Pakistan Cricket Board's decision to exclude Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan from future selection could "destroy the team".
An inquiry into Pakistan's tour of Australia, where they lost all three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international, blamed the duo for the "infighting" which was seen as a key factor in the team's failings.
Younus had stepped down as captain in November, just prior to the tour, after suggesting he had lost command of his players, with Yousuf subsequently installed as captain.
Shoaib Malik and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan were also handed one-year bans by the PCB, who acted on the advice of a report submitted by a six-member inquiry committee set up to investigate the reasons behind the Australia debacle.
"Pakistan cricketers are already suffering because no international team is willing to play in the country," Inzamam said.
"Now the PCB takes this kind of action against the players and acts on a report submitted by employees of the PCB.
"I don't think this is the right way to go about things.
"Yousuf and Younis are the most senior players in the team and there is no allegation that they are involved in any other activities.
"If you take such a strong decision against them, it would set a bad example for youngsters. It would destroy the team."
Lawyer Taffazul Rizvi, a member of the inquiry committee, said the PCB was on solid legal ground.
"We cannot reveal the specifics of the incidents as we are under oath," he said.
"But obviously we have taken action after much consideration and based on solid information."
The PCB's general manager for media, Nadeem Sawar, disputed the suggestion that the two players had been banned, rather that they would not be considered for future internationals.
"If you look at the media release, we have not used the word ban, but merely stated that these players would not be part of the national team in the future," Sawar said.
However he added: "At this stage, it would seem that their international career is over.
"They will not be playing international cricket."
Pakistan's tour of Australia was also marred by a ball-tampering row involving Shahid Afridi.
Afridi was fined 3million rupees (£24,000) and placed on probation for six months over the incident, while the Akmal brothers, Kamran and Umar, were fined a total of 5million rupees (£40,000) on grounds of indiscipline.
Sawar insisted the decisions were not an over-reaction, saying: "The PCB believes team discipline is essential and it does not matter whether the players are senior or junior.
"This is not a harsh decision because the committee has recommended that these steps are necessary and mandatory to keep the team in order.
"The PCB has merely accepted the recommendations of the committee.
"As for the morale of the team being low ahead of the World Twenty20, I on the contrary think that the morale of the other players will be up as this would only let them know that any breach of discipline would not be tolerated in future.
"It's a clear message from the PCB."
Former captain Rameez Raja believed the decision was justified.
"This is huge and it is surprising, but at the end of the day Pakistan's cricket problem has been discipline," Rameez said.
"To maintain discipline, the PCB has gone the distance. So be it.
"I feel for the players who have been banned, but I think it was high time the PCB did something about it and they have made an example out of these players.
"I think the bans are appropriate, but I'm sure the players will challenge this.
"We have to wait and see if the PCB revises its decision because there would no doubt be a great deal of pressure on it (PCB) from all quarters."