Pakistan cricket September 8, 2008

Miandad urges president to 'take care of cricket'

Cricinfo staff

Javed Miandad: "What I feel is that if a foreign coach is given a 15-year contract to train the Pakistan team, [only] after 10 years he would start learning the A-B-C of our cricket" © AFP

Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain, has suggested Asif Ali Zardari, the country's new president, needs to keep a close watch on the working of the board and eliminate the unnecessary positions created by the previous regime.

Nasim Ashraf resigned as board chairman on August 18 soon after Pervez Musharraf, the PCB's patron, stepped down from Pakistan's presidency. "He [Zardari] is a sports lover and I am sure he will take care of cricket," Miandad told the Associated Press. "He is a democratic president of the country and I feel he should keep the post [of patron] with him in order to keep a close watch at the working of the board.

"To start with, Zardari should make previous officials of the board accountable and that includes everyone from high-ranking officials to the bottom-ranked ones."

Miandad said the earlier PCB hierarchy created too many positions, and said that "instead of appointing four people, one efficient person could be hired in the board."

Miandad, who's had three stints as Pakistan coach, was not in favour of a foreigner as coach of the national team. Geoff Lawson, the former Australia fast bowler, is currently in charge of the side. In the past, Pakistan have been coached by Bob Woolmer, who died during the 2007 World Cup, and Richard Pybus.

"I still believe a Pakistani coach is much better than a foreign coach," Miandad said. "Our cricket is played in streets, on roads and roofs, while outside Pakistan the coaches are groomed in proper environments with all the necessary playing facilities like proper grounds and all the required equipment.

"What I feel is that if a foreign coach is given a 15-year contract to train the Pakistan team, [only] after 10 years he would start learning the A-B-C of our cricket," Miandad, who has been unimpressed with their performance, said. "Foreign coaches will just come and make money, they can't help in rebuilding the Pakistan team to compete against hard teams. Teams like Australia, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and England are better than us in Tests and I think the day is not far when we would be given tough times by even Bangladesh and West Indies."

Miandad's comments came on the same day as Lawson's departure for Australia fuelled rumours of his resignation. However, the PCB clarified the coach had only gone on leave. "He will be back later this month," PCB spokesman Mansoor Suhail said. "His annual leave was due and there's nothing more than that.

"If the series against Sri Lanka materialises, Lawson will surely come back much earlier and join the team," he added.

Pakistan are trying to fill up the gap created by the postponement of the Champions Trophy, but efforts for a tri-series in South Africa fell apart. Lawson, though, has continued to maintain he's committed to Pakistan despite lucrative offers back home in Australia.