KARACHI: In a move that can be termed nothing less than shocking, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed chief selector Mohsin Khan as the team’s interim coach for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka that features three Tests, five One-Day Internationals (ODI) and a one-off Twenty20 in the UAE.
Mohsin, a former Test opener, fills the spot which was left vacant by Waqar Younis who stepped down after the Zimbabwe tour until the board can find a suitable replacement.
The PCB placed an advert on its website, inviting applicants for the role of head coach and confirmed that it had shortlisted five candidates from the 37 that applied.
According to details, the board made the decision after the committee, headed by former captain, coach and manager Intikhab Alam and entrusted with the responsibility of finalising a coaching candidate, sought more time.
Mohsin aims to win ‘tough’ series
The former cricketer, while terming the series as a tough assignment, said he had full faith in the side.
“Sri Lanka are a very strong side,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune. “But I have faith in my team that has the ability to defeat any side anywhere in the world. I’ve played tough cricket as an opener and I’m ready for the task. Hopefully, I’ll be able to give my best for the country which has given me everything,” he said before setting victory as the only target.
“I’ll try to raise the team’s spirit and instil a never-say-die approach, which are the key factors for success.”
Coach’s appointment to take time: Alam
Meanwhile, Alam said his committee was in the process of finalising the coach.
“It’s a lengthy process,” said Alam who heads the committee that also includes Col Naushad Ali and Zaheer Abbas. “The committee cannot make a decision in haste as certain things need to be sorted out.”
Meanwhile, Naveed Akram Cheema, who served as team manager in the Zimbabwe series, has been retained in the same capacity till this December’s tour of Bangladesh. However, he will not be available for the Test series against Sri Lanka, which starts on October 18, as he will be performing Hajj.
Naushad, the assistant manager, will take Cheema’s place during that time. The PCB also retained former Test batsman Ijaz Ahmed as assistant coach for the series and said that a training camp will be held from October 10 to 13 in Lahore.
Cheema said he will join the team in the UAE after performing Hajj.
“I finalised the Hajj plan a while ago and I’m thankful to the PCB for their understanding,” he said while adding that he will return in time for the ODI series that begins on November 11.
Sri Lanka series
Naveed Akram Cheema (manager), Naushad Ali (associate manager), Mohsin Khan (coach), Wasim Ahmed (security manager), Ijaz Ahmed (assistant coach), Saboor Ahmed (trainer), Faisal Hayat (physio), Talha Butt (cricket analyst) and Malang Ali (masseur)
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2011.
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