Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq feels India are creating history by trying to field two formidable teams for the upcoming Tests in England and the limited overs series in Sri Lanka.
“For the first time, I think it is happening that a national cricket team will be playing two different (international) series. One side in one country and the other side in some other country, and both are national teams,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said on the latest episode on his YouTube channel.
India had last sent two different national teams in 1998. While one team went to Canada to compete in the Sahara Cup against Pakistan, the other was sent to the Commonwealth Games. The CWG matches, however, are not recognised as international games.
Although Australia were the first country to introduce dual teams in international cricket some two decades ago, Inzamam feels that India will execute the idea in a much better fashion.
“This idea of assembling a second Indian team is very interesting. What India are trying to do today, Australia did this years ago, but they were not able to be successful in it. India appear to be pulling it off.”
“When Australia were at their peak, from 1995 to say 2005-2010, they had tried to distinguish two international teams named Australia A and Australia B, but they didn’t get the permission,” the 51-year-old added.
Taking a leaf from Australia, England too split their Test and ODI sides in the late 90s. The ODI side found immediate success, with England winning the 1997 Champions Trophy, their first ODI title in 10 years. England’s struggles in the 50-over format, however, continued thereafter.
Inzamam-ul-Haq further mentioned how the development of domestic cricket has helped India dominate world cricket. The Pakistan great also highlighted how the Indian T20 League has contributed to the growth.
“India have improved their first-class structure and then there is the Indian T20 League as well that has helped assemble two different teams at the same time.
“It’s almost as if India have prepared 50 guys who are ready to play for the national team,” Inzamam concluded.
Inzamam still remains the only batsman from Pakistan to score 20,000 runs in international cricket. He also served the Pakistan national side as their head coach.
Featured photo: AFP / Arif Ali