Afghanistan news August 19, 2010

Dispute with board ends Kabir Khan's coaching tenure

Tony Munro

Kabir Khan, the former Pakistan fast bowler whose tenure as Afghanistan coach recently came to an abrupt end, has said a dispute with the officials of the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) forced him to leave the team.

Kabir told Cricinfo his departure came after the ACB chairman, Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, announced Kabir's resignation two days after he sent a text message threatening to quit due to interference in his role.

"I texted our chairman of ACB regarding some issues which I was not very happy with, and stated that if they don't let me work freely without interfering I will rather leave the job with honour and dignity," Kabir said. "It was not an official resignation but two days later I got a letter from our CEO Aimal Shenwari saying that my resignation has been accepted and I replied 'Ok' - nothing else I could say."

Kabir said he was unhappy with interference from ACB officials in the recently completed series against Scotland. "During the Intercontinental Cup they at the office were not happy that we did not enforce the follow-on against the Scottish team when Rashid Latif [the batting coach], the captain and I decided to bat for a bit of time and we won the game."

The tension apparently increased following the second ODI, which Afghanistan lost. "In the last ODI the issue of why we batted first [was challenged]. If they in the office know so much about cricket then there is no point in us doing a job and getting paid. I cannot call Kabul after every toss and ask my CEO what to do," Kabir said.

These incidents came on the back of disagreements over the selection process. "When I wanted to add young boys and make a future team, the selection committee was giving me boys in their thirties. I was not involved in the selection meetings which I should [and] boys were dropped for no reasons."

Kabir said he did not see the possibility of reversing his decision. "First of all I will rather find another job as things will not be the same, but if I do then it will totally on my terms and simple ones - I will need full authority of decisions and say in selections. The board can ask me questions or sack me after the tournament but during the tour no interference in cricket matters."

Kabir said he did felt Zakhilwal should have sought the reason for his disappointment before acting. "The chairman should have at least asked me why I wrote the text, before discussing and deciding with the person who I was not feeling comfortable with. He just had a meeting with CEO and listened to his side of story."

Kabir maintained that his priority was building the Afghanistan team. "It's not about me - it is about the Afghan team and I will never want them to suffer - I cannot see people ruining the hard work we have done for the last few years just for their personal reasons. I enjoyed every single moment of my job and the respect that I got through coaching the Afghan team," he said.