Explanation of Miandad's removal December 26, 2004

Shaharyar claims comments taken out of context

Cricinfo staff

Shaharyar Khan: looked to defuse row © Getty Images
Shaharyar Khan, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, has looked to defuse the growing row with Javed Miandad, claiming that comments attributed to him were taken out of context. Reports at the weekend indicated that Shaharyar had spoken of other reasons surrounding the dismissal of Miandad as Pakistan coach.

In a statement issued by the PCB, Shaharyar insisted that he had been asked a question by a reporter from Dawn, Pakistan's largest English-language newspaper, whether he would fire Woolmer if he lost the series against India "as you had fired Miandad". Shaharyar replied that it was wrong to suggest Miandad had been dismissed for the series loss to India alone and that "other factors" had been considered.

Miandad reacted angrily, stating he was considering legal action and adding that Shaharyar had created "an impression in the minds of followers of the game that I could have been involved in betting and match-fixing."

But Shaharyar insisted that Woolmer's hiring "was based on the need to move to a more scientific and technological method of coaching the national team." He continued: "This policy of hiring highly qualified coaches has been adopted by every cricket playing country from New Zealand to West Indies, and includes all four Asian countries, England, Australia and South Africa.

"Famous cricketers like Garry Sobers, Viv Richards and Kapil Dev have been tried and replaced by highly qualified coaches with proven credentials and with no outstanding record in Test or even first-class cricket. No denigration of Miandad's known inspirational method was intended then or now. In fact, he was invited to use these qualities to inspire the younger generation of Pakistani cricketers.

"The PCB continues to hold Miandad in esteem for his cricketing qualities," Shaharyar concluded. "Incidentally, the decision to hire Woolmer was made by the Advisory Council who voted unanimously in favour of the change."

It is unlikely that Shaharyar's comments will placate Miandad. His real anger, however, appears to be centred on Woolmer, under whose stewardship Pakistan had achieved "zero".