HomeSportsInzamam's stake in players' agent's firm sparks conflict of interest debate

Inzamam’s stake in players’ agent’s firm sparks conflict of interest debate

The Chief Selector of Pakistan cricket team, Inzamam-ul-Haq, has found himself entangled in a web of potential conflicts of interest. It turns out that the former captain is a shareholder in “Yazo International Limited,” a company owned by players’ agent Talha Rehmani. This revelation raises concerns as Rehmani manages some of Pakistan’s top cricketers, including Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Shah Afridi. Notably, Rizwan is also a co-owner of the same company.

Details of significant differences between Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the players on the central contract had come to light. Before the 2023 World Cup, tensions escalated to the point where players contemplated boycotting commercial activities during the tournament. Their demands included a share of the money received from the ICC. Inzamam-ul-Haq, sharing the same agent as the top cricketers, stepped in and offered to resolve the dispute within 48 hours. Eventually, the intervention of Inzamam led to the resolution of the issue, and all player demands were met.

The fallout from this dispute resulted in historical changes in player contracts. Three-year contracts, applicable from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2026, were introduced, and cricketers will now receive a share of the ICC’s revenue. Category A players, including Babar Azam, Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi, saw a significant increase of 202% in their remuneration, with other players also receiving substantial raises.

Now it has been revealed that Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, and Talha Rehmani are also part of the same company, “Yazo International Limited”. According to documents available with Cricket Pakistan, the company’s British registration number begins with 1306. It mentions the same address for all three shareholders, which is Colchester, England.

All of them own more than 25% of the shares. Interestingly, Inzamam receives a monthly salary of 2.5 million rupees from PCB as well. In this regard, the spokesman for the players’ agent company, “Saya Corporation,” clarified that Inzamam, Rizwan, and CEO Talha Rehmani are shareholders in ‘Yazo’ under the investment wing. The spokesman argued that such collaborations between athletes and trusted individuals for investments are not unusual globally. Examples like LeBron James, Tom Brady, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, and David Beckham working with their agents and management companies are cited.

The company and its accounts have been declared in Pakistan since 2020, and the spokesman emphasized that Inzamam was not the chief selector at the time of Yazo’s establishment during the COVID days in 2020. They also clarified that company’s total assets amount to only 1,100 pounds and that no current or former cricketer is a shareholder in Saya Corporation or its global partner organizations.