The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has no immediate plans of bringing in a new head coach until the status of the board chairman is confirmed.
Ijaz Butt’s tenure ends in the first week of October and with no decision made on his future as yet, the board is adopting a wait-and-see approach before starting their negotiations with a coach to succeed the outgoing Waqar Younis.
Following the Zimbabwe series, Pakistan has no international commitments until the end of October when they take on Sri Lanka in the UAE. A series against England at the same venue follows in January next year. But the break between the tour of Zimbabwe and the series against Sri Lanka will give the officials time to appoint a new coach.
Waqar had stunned the PCB last week by announcing his resignation on ‘personal’ and ‘health’ grounds, labelling the Zimbabwe tour his last with the national team. The Express Tribune understands that former assistant coach Aqib Javed – omitted from the touring party since his services were needed at the National Cricket Academy – is the front-runner for the position but nothing has been finalised.
President hasn’t decided
on Butt’s future
A spokesperson of the president of Pakistan – who is also the PCB’s chief patron – confirmed to The Express Tribune that a decision regarding the new chairman will be made after Butt’s term.
“As far as the chairman’s extension is concerned, let the time come and then it will be decided,” said presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar.
Chairman to return home today
The PCB chairman, however, has been out of the country since the day Waqar announced his resignation. He is due to return home from India today and the issue will be discussed but the board, according to an official, sees no suitable candidate from the local quarters for the key job. Aqib’s name, as well as that of Ijaz Ahmed who will be acting as assistant coach in the touring party heading to Zimbabwe, has been put forward.
“The day Waqar resigned, the chairman was heading to Delhi so nothing has been discussed with regards to the appointment of new head coach,” a PCB spokesperson told The Express Tribune. “The vacancy is not open but obviously things are under consideration and will go on in due course.”
Nazar backs Aqib for key role
Former NCA head coach and currently the ICC Global academy coach Mudassar Nazar has already given his vote for Aqib to be the next head coach.
“I’m at ease with either a Pakistani or non-Pakistani coach, whoever is best for the job should be given the role,” said Nazar. “However, it’s almost impossible to appoint a non-Pakistani coach and expect him to spend so much time working in Pakistan.
“Unfortunately, living in Pakistan at the moment is difficult even for Pakistanis so how can we expect a foreigner to come and settle here. I have a lot of faith in Aqib as he has come through the Pakistani system. He’s been working in different roles for the last 10 years. He’s a good coach and I think they should appoint him.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2011.