Karachi: Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq is not happy with the statement of England captain Alastair Cook that Pakistan’s tainted left-arm fast bowler Muhammad Aamir will have to face “consequences” in the form of a hostile reception when he plays the first Test at Lords from July 14.
“How would the England captain feel if they were in Pakistan and our captain made a similar statement about some player?” Inzamam asked.
Inzamam said he saw Cook’s statement as a move to put Aamir under pressure since he was a real threat to England.
“I see this as the start of a campaign to start pressurising Aamir. Because not only England but even Australia and South Africa see him as a threat. And he can be a match-winner in England,” Inzamam said on Geo Channel.
The chief selector said he would advise Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq to take some steps to counter this pressure.
“I think it would be a good idea if Aamir was not made to field at the boundaries because he will then face hostile comments and remarks. It is best to keep him away from the crowd at the start,” he said.
“But to me there is sympathy for Aamir in England and the best way he can answer is to perform in the series and I am confident he can do it,” said the former captain.
Inzamam conceded that it had been a tough job for him to select the Pakistan squad for England.
“There was pressure on me because I had not seen much first class cricket and whatever cricket I saw was on television. And it was my first assignment as chief selector. But we have tried to select the best possible squad and I am pretty sure they will do well,” he said.
The veteran of 120 Tests stated that he was hopeful that with the sort of preparations made for the England tour it would be a controversy free series unlike 2006 and 2010.
“I am confident we have the management to handle things well and this will be a controversy-free tour,” he said.
He, however, conceded that the series would be a tough one for Pakistan as they were playing outside Asia for the first time in three years and England had been very dangerous at home.
Inzamam also said in the fitness tests conducted before the England tour in the boot camp in Kakul and then in Lahore, the team’s trainer was pretty satisfied with the situation.
“But there is no doubt that our players need to work harder on their fitness if Pakistan is to compete with other teams.”
He also spoke about the decision to drop batsmen Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal for the England tour.
“Their performance was okay but they had disciplinary issues and they need to improve their discipline. I went by the captain and coach reports and I am pretty sure they will comeback if they improve their discipline.