Faith in cricket: Inzamam leads the way at Gaddafi skill camp
Pakistani cricketers are currently participating in a skill camp at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to prepare for the tour of England and national team chief selector Inzamamul Haq is making sure they receive some spiritual guidance too on the sidelines.
Inzamam talking to Younus Khan and Misbah during the camp. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB
In a picture circulating on social media, the 46-year-old Inzamam can be seen leading afternoon (Zuhr) prayers at Gaddafi Stadium.
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PHOTO COURTESY: PCB
Despite stirring controversy years ago for bringing in religion to the game, the chief selector clearly seems unfazed. When asked if he would be able to carry his national duty alongside his religious one, the former captain said “frankly, everyone should offer prayers”.
In 2006, Inzamam strongly denied accusations he was pressurising players to pray and that selection process was linked to religion in any way.
Talking to BBC’s Urdu Service, Inzamam said, “I have never forced anyone to offer prayers in the team or to keep a beard. There are only three players in the team who went to England who have a beard: Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf and myself. I’ve never linked team selection to offering prayers and reports suggesting otherwise are all wrong.”
Chief selector sharing a light moment with two veterans. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB
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Earlier, Inzamam’s pictures of leading the Afghanistan team into prayers also made headlines on social media during the Asia Cup qualifiers. Afghanistan beat Hong Kong by 66 run on February 22 and the then head coach was seen leading his players into the evening (maghrib) prayers.
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Inzamam’s arrival into the Pakistan Cricket Board mix has brought changes when it comes to players’ fitness. The players were sent to a fitness and boot camp to Army School of Physical Training in Kakul, which was followed immediately by the skill camp.
Pakistani cricketers participating in a practice session. PHOTO COURTESY: PCB
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With all three domains covered, soon the results of these initiatives will be evident when the team visits England for a two-month long series. Are you hoping for a miracle?