'Head coach not needed'

Former captain Afridi suggests a team of coaches and a 'powerful' manager.

Fawad Hussain August 25, 2011


Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi wants the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to appoint department-specific coaches under a 'powerful' manager as opposed to naming a single head coach to succeed Waqar Younis.

The former fast-bowler's sudden announcement left the PCB in shock who need to find his replacement after the Zimbabwe tour as the board contemplates whether to name a foreign or a local coach.

Afridi, who retired from international cricket after he was stripped of captaincy, wants the board to do away with a single coach appointment but instead wants them to place a manager under who the batting, bowling and fielding coaches will work.

"Not appointing a head coach will be the best decision," Afridi told The Express Tribune from London where he is preparing for Hampshire's Friends Provident Twenty20 semi-final. "There should, instead, be a strong and competent manager along with assistant coaches."

Afridi, who developed serious differences with Younis on selection matters that prompted the board to take away the captain's arm-band, felt that the new formula will help avoid controversies.

"The assistant coaches will focus solely on their jobs rather than get involved in other issues. The manager will be there to look after everything. Matters will become simpler and things will go smoothly."

Coach of Woolmer's  calibre required

The all-rounder added that if the PCB goes ahead and appoint a single coach at the helm, then a coach of Bob Woolmer's calibre should be appointed.

"I won't go into the debate of whether the PCB should hire a foreign or a local coach. Pakistan just need a qualified coach. The team needs a coach like Woolmer who was qualified and had plenty of experience.

"I remember easily that no players had any major issues under Woolmer. He used to keep his focus on the job without having any agendas on the side."

Lawson agrees on formula

Former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson has agreed with the idea of appointing department-specific coaches instead of a single head coach.

“A coach is a must but it should be someone to oversee discussion and planning, prepare the system and the training camp and that’s the role of a coach at international level,” Lawson told The Express Tribune. “However, if you want to get the best out of the team, you need a batting and a bowling coach, and other people assisting. The skills involved in cricket are so different that you need specific knowledge of what is going on.”

Lawson, who coached Pakistan to the final of the 2007 World Twenty20, was sacked 15 months into his appointment by Ijaz Butt when he took up office at the Pakistan Cricket Board in 2008.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th,  2011.