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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2007, 11:21 GMT
Pakistan chief and selectors quit
Dr Naseem Ashraf
Ashraf came under fire from the media after the defeat by Ireland
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Naseem Ashraf and the national team selection committee have resigned in the wake of the team's exit from the World Cup.

Ashraf's departure was confirmed by PCB communications director Ahsan Malik just five months after he took over from previous chairman Shaharyar Khan.

His decision follows defeats by West Indies and Ireland in the Caribbean.

Chief selector Wasim Bari and his two fellow selectors also quit, "sharing responsibility" for the team's results.

"The committee's tenure was up to the 2007 World Cup and it shares responsibility for the team's performance in the World Cup," read a statement.

"We just thought morally we were bound to do this," Bari added.

Ashraf faxed his resignation on Monday night and it's now up to the patron whether he accepts it or not

PCB communications director Ahsan Malik

Former Test left-arm spinner Iqbal Qasim and medium fast bowler Ehteshamuddin were the other members of the selection committee, who also tendered their resignations.

The two defeats mean Pakistan cannot qualify for the Super 8 phase of the tournament, and also prompted captain Inzamam-ul-Haq to announce his retirement from one-day cricket. He will play his final limited-overs international when they face Zimbabwe in Jamaica on Wednesday, a game which has been overshadowed by the sudden death of coach Bob Woolmer at the age of 58.

"The fact of the matter is that Pakistan cricket is at the crossroads," said chief selector Bari, who is also a former Test wicketkeeper.

"We (the selectors) had decided soon after the debacle against Ireland that we are going to resign," Bari said. "After talking with Ashraf last night, we had submitted our resignations to the PCB.

Wasim Bari
The fact of the matter is that Pakistan cricket is at the crossroads

Wasim Bari

"If we can't do well with experienced players like Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf and Shoaib Malik, then I don't know who else could have done wonders for us.

"What I could see out there was that our team lacked commitment and nobody took responsibility while batting."

News of Ashraf's resignation follows a statement released by him on Monday, expressing his "deep disappointment" and that "the Board and he himself were as disturbed over the results as the rest of the nation".

The statement added: "Ashraf and other members of the Board had decided to maintain continuity and stability as the best option to strengthen the team."

However, PCB communications director Malik confirmed his change of heart, telling AFP: "I have talked to Ashraf on telephone and he has confirmed that he has sent his resignation to the patron of the PCB (Pakistan president General Pervez Musharraf).

"Ashraf faxed his resignation on Monday night and it's now up to the patron whether he accepts it or not."

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