The rift between the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq intensified with the country’s sport’s governing body accepting the former skipper’s resignation amid a conflict of interest allegation. Even as the Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team fights for the last remaining semifinal spot in the World Cup in India, the PCB issued a statement on Thursday stating that it had accepted the legendary player’s resignation. The statement added that a replacement will be announced shortly. “Pakistan Cricket Board has accepted Inzamam-ul-Haq’s resignation as the chairman of the national men’s selection committee and junior selection committee and will announce his replacement in due course.

“Inzamam-ul-Haq voluntarily stepped down from his position on 30 October in order to offer the PCB the opportunity to conduct a transparent inquiry about the conflict of interest allegations,” said the PCB statement.

Inzamam had on October 30 resigned as the chairman of the national selection committee after the PCB initiated an inquiry to probe if his association with a company that manages a number of national team players amounted to conflict of interest.

The PCB has formed a five-member panel to probe Inzamam’s role in the company — Yazoo International — where he shares the same agent who manages captain Babar Azam, pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan.

Though Inzamam resigned, he maintained that his association with agent-and-partner Talha Rehmani had never affected or compromised his decision-making as a selector.

“A five-member fact-finding committee has been formed by the board to investigate allegations regarding conflict of interest reported in the media about the team selection process. The findings of this inquiry will be submitted to the PCB Management promptly,” said the PCB statement.

Inzamam was appointed chairman of the national men’s selection committee on August 7 this year and was also made chairman of the junior men’s selection committee last month.

Former players wondered what was so urgent that prompted the PCB to accept the resignation now when it was lying with them for more than a week.

Relations between PCB and Inzamam deteriorated further when he criticised the cricket body’s chairman, Zaka Ashraf, on Tuesday for not owning up the national team’s performance in the World Cup and trying to blame him and captain Babar Azam after the team lost four matches on the trot.

Inzamam also questioned the decision to extend the chairman’s tenure, alleging that he was running the PCB in an arbitrary manner.

Inzamam told the Geo channel on Tuesday that his lawyers had sent mails to the PCB to call him for the inquiry, but they had not responded yet.

The PCB and Ashraf reportedly didn’t like Inzamam’s outburst and insisted he would be called for the probe, and that, being under contract, he was breaching the board’s code of conduct by giving statements in public.

Inzamam was getting a salary of Pakistan Rs 2.5 million but after Pakistan performed badly in India, Ashraf said he had nothing to do with the team selection as it was picked by the chief selector and Babar.

Ashraf, and the cricket management committee he heads, got a three-month extension two days back. The interim Cricket Management Committee (CMC) is running the PCB since last December.

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