KARACHI: Pakistan cricket has not progressed since the late 1990s, according to outgoing bowling coach Aqib Javed who is scheduled to take over as UAE’s head coach on Monday.
Aqib, who has been involved in coaching at various levels in Pakistan for the last 11 years, was also part of the 1992 World Cup winning squad, confirmed his new appointment, adding that the move was not for any financial reasons but for ‘personal reasons as well as for the family’.
The former fast-bowler, whose appointment as the team’s bowling coach on a series-by-series basis surprised many given the positive influence he has had on the players, rued the lack of progress Pakistan cricket has had compared to its competitors in the last decade.
“We haven’t really progressed from the wonderful time we had in the 1990s,” Aqib told The Express Tribune. “There were a lot of changes taking place then, there was a lot of development but it’s a pity that we haven’t been able to match the development witnessed in Australia, England and even India. They’ve invested heavily in the grass-root levels – schools, academies, regions – but for us, we’re still asking former players what to do.”
Just copy if you can’t invent
Aqib, as a parting advice, urged the Pakistan Cricket Board to copy the model implemented by other member boards as a starting block, ruing the poor domestic structure including an unsatisfactory school and academy system.
“We can’t wait for miracles to happen. We can’t wait for another Mohammad Amir or Mohammad Asif type bowler [in terms of their show on the field] to just emerge out of nowhere. It might not happen. Even Bangladesh has leapfrogged us. This is not the time for discussions, it’s the time for action.”
‘I needed a change’
Meanwhile, denying that money was the main motive behind his move to the UAE, Aqib expressed satisfaction with his efforts in Pakistan at various levels, and confirmed that it was the ‘need for a change’ that led him to take up the offer.
“I’ll be going to the UAE on Monday and then moving there by the end of March. It’s been 11 years since I started work with Pakistan. It took me a long time to achieve what I have and I’m very satisfied with the efforts. I played a part in the 1992 World Cup win, the 2009 World Twenty20 win, the under-19 World Cup win as well as the recent England whitewash.
“Now, it’s time for a change. I want to move away from here for me and for my family. I have nothing against the PCB or the Pakistan team and it’s a personal decision.”
Following the appointment of Dav Whatmore (head coach) and Julien Fountain (fielding coach), the PCB has stopped short of naming Aqib’s replacement but has hired the services of Sarfraz Nawaz as the bowling coach for the NCA.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2012.
More in SportsSri Lanka send India packing