Shahryar: Woolmer lacked control
Former PCB chairman Shahryar Khan says Woolmer did not hold authority with his team.
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2007 14:00 GMT

Outspoken former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shahryar Khan [EPA]

Shahryar Khan, former chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has said that Bob Woolmer struggled to impose his full authority on Pakistan's players, who instead looked towards veteran captain Inzamam-ul-Haq for leadership.
In an interview with BBC Radio Five Live, Shahryar said that for most of the players Inzaman was their "unquestioned leader."
The Pakistan team was heading home on Sunday after leaving Jamaica where they were shock first round casualties from the tournament, and an investigation into the murder of Woolmer was ongoing.

Shahryar insisted that while English-born Woolmer enjoyed a reasonable relationship with the players, there was occasionally friction with captain Inzamam.

"There were a few confrontations (between Bob and his players)," Shahryar said.

"But invariably Bob did not take umbrage at various players sulking or even addressing harsh words to him because they'd been left out or asked to go home from a series.

"Generally he had a very good relationship with the boys because he took so much trouble," added the former PCB official.

"Being a very gentle person, he would invariably go round and talk to the boys and ask 'why are you being harsh with me'?

"Nearly always the boys came around."

But Shahryar admitted that though the relationship between players and coach was generally healthy, Woolmer was never able to fully impose his authority "because this lay with the captain most of the time."

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"Bob worked around it. I kept telling him and Inzamam that for the team to succeed both he and the team needed to be united and as one," said Shahryar.

"Sometimes there was a little fraying of this. There was always a question mark regarding Bob taking total control of the team in every sense.

"There was resistance from Inzamam and perhaps successful resistance. Inzamam was the leader, the unquestioned leader of the team," he added.

"They (the players) all fell in place around him and were totally supportive of Inzamam. Bob found it difficult sometimes.

"If he was giving advice that may not have been accepted by Inzamam, he sometimes found it difficult.

"Bob felt he should have had full control of the team but in fact he didn't."

Shahryar resigned from his post as PCB chairman after the forfeited Oval Test between Pakistan and England, and a disagreement with Champions Trophy stand-in captain Younis Khan in October last year.

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