Haroon Rashid denies being sacked
"The board has given me a contract for one year until July 2005 and I have a clear conscience that I have done my job with commitment, honesty and dedication," Rashid told The News, a Pakistan daily. "I think my performance should be judged by what the other members of the team have to say about me. But if the board has planned something else it is their decision and I will not protest. I have always been available for Pakistan cricket and have done my duty properly. But yes, if anyone questions my competency as a manager I think it is unfair because throughout my tenure there has not been a single instance where anyone can say I have not fulfilled my responsibilities."
Rasheed received support from a senior board official, who clarified the PCB's stand on the issue. "The board was looking to appoint a new manager to handle the diplomatic and political aspects of the Indian tour which has its own sensitivities. We will be sending two managers to India. It is not right to say we have decided to remove Haroon."
Rashid, who has also been the coach and national selector of Pakistan, also suggested that more was being made of Shoaib Akhtar's disciplinary problems than was necessary. "Shoaib has a problem with his cricketing discipline. He is inconsistent in his commitment to the game and as a player. But overall his behaviour has never been offensive and there is no doubt when he is giving 100% he is a major asset for the team."
Rashid felt that Shoaib was perhaps influenced by constant media attention. "No other player including the Australian and West Indians even came close to the popularity and media attention he got in Australia. At times I thought he could not handle it. But overall he remained on good behaviour and the only problem arose on cricketing grounds. But even before he returned home he made it clear to Bob Woolmer that he was totally committed to the team and would do as advised by the team management to be at his best in future matches."