Aaqib Javed threatens to pull out of head coach race

Former fast-bowler claims he was promised role but PCB now wants foreigner

Nabeel Hashmi April 07, 2016

KARACHI: Former Pakistan bowling coach Aaqib Javed — who was favourite to take over as the new Pakistan head coach after Waqar Younis’s departure — has said he will not apply for the position now after members Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja publicly said that they want to bring in a foreign coach.

Both Aaqib and Mudassar Nazar — currently involved with the UAE national cricket team — had met with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) higher-ups and were in line to get the roles of head coach and Director Academies at the National Cricket Academy respectively.

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However, when Waqar decided to step down, PCB appointed Ramiz and Wasim to search for a new coach. The two-member committee is thought to favour a foreign coach and Aaqib, who played alongside the two in the 1992 World Cup winning campaign, is not too pleased about it.

“The committee members have already said in the media that there should be a foreign coach so why should I apply for the role,” said Aaqib. “I’m not applying now because they have already made up their mind. When I was in Lahore, the PCB told me they wanted to include me in a pool of coaches and I said ok. I’m the only Pakistani coach who has coached for 15-16 years from the grass-roots level up.”

Aaqib added that the PCB has invested heavily in coach education programmes and has trained people within the country but whenever there is talk of a new coach, the board starts looking abroad.

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He added that all foreign coaches who have worked with the national team have failed to make an impact.

“Foreign coaches don’t know who the emerging players in domestic cricket are and don’t know how to take the team forward,” he said. “The coaches remain in control of four or five senior players to complete their tenure and then leave.”

The PCB, however, has denied Aaqib’s claims that the board is looking solely for foreign coaches. “This is an open opportunity for Pakistani and foreign coaches so it isn’t like we’re only looking for a foreign coach,” said a senior PCB official. “Aaqib has probably misunderstood as I don’t think anyone has said we are looking for a foreign coach. Maybe someone said it in their own capacity on social media but that doesn’t reflect the PCB’s policy.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th,  2016.

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