'Man-management most important for new coach'

Players need strategist, not trainer, says Mushtaq Ahmed.

Umar Farooq September 03, 2011


Former Pakistan spinner and England's current spin coach Mushtaq Ahmed has rubbished worries that finding a new coach for Pakistan was a complex procedure but has advised the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to find someone with man-management skills.

The PCB has formulated a three-member committee – with Ramiz Raja in an advisory capacity – to search for Waqar Younis' replacement who will step down after the ongoing tour of Zimbabwe. However, just hours after being formed, the members expressed contrasting views on their preferred choice of coach but will meet on Monday for the first time.

Mushtaq, however, played down the emphasis and said the criteria for selecting the new coach should be simple.

"Finding a new coach is no rocket science," Mushtaq told The Express Tribune. "What a player requires at the top level is a strategy and advice from the coach and nothing else. If you are expecting someone who could work on a player's skills – especially at that level – then that is waste of time. Someone playing international cricket is supposed to be skilful and only needs the right guidance and exposure to enhance and implement it."

The debate rages on as to whether the PCB should go for a foreign or a local coach. Arguments against a foreign coach are formed, with the language issue popping up as the biggest problem.

"A simple formula which could help is to have someone who can manage the players very well. I see the debate between a foreign and local coach has blown out of proportion.

"I'm sure the PCB has something in mind but with a foreign coach there will be a communication problem. However, he can always have assistants to overcome that issue which, after all, is a minor one."

The Express Tribune understands that the PCB is eyeing high-profile coaches, one with good reputation and with a lot of experience and those who can assert their authority even in the dressing room.

"Coaches like Mickey Arthur and Dav Whatmore are in our minds but it's not like we have decided already," PCB's Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed had said earlier. "Give us time and we will find the best coach for the team."

Mushtaq, too, spoke of the problems plaguing Pakistan cricket, especially the divide frequently seen in the dressing room.

"Bring someone who understands the environment and manages things with authority," added Mushtaq. "There are things we all know happen and are wrong with the team so whoever is brought in must be aware of that and should hopefully sort that out."

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.