Pakistan cricket November 4, 2008

ICC to look into Malik's appointment as Academy coach

Cricinfo staff

Saleem Malik: "I have been offered the post of head coach at the National Cricket Academy by the board and I have accepted it" © AFP

The ICC has said it will look into the appointment of Saleem Malik, the former Pakistan captain, as head coach of the country's National Cricket Academy. "We will write to the PCB and ask them to explain after hearing media reports which say that Salim Malik has been given a position of responsibility in the current Pakistan cricket set-up," an ICC spokesperson told Cricinfo.

The ICC had been wary of this domestic assignment as well as the recent appointments of Mushtaq Ahmed and Waqar Younis by the ECB. Mushtaq and Waqar were both fined but not banned in the same inquiry that found Malik guilty.

Malik accepted the position just days after a court lifted a life ban on him from any involvement with cricket.

"I have been offered the post of head coach at the National Cricket Academy by the board and I have accepted it," Malik told reporters in Lahore. "For long I have had a great desire to coach youngsters and this is an ideal opportunity to do so." Malik indicated he might also pursue coaching courses.

Malik appears to have caught the PCB off-guard with the revelation. Ijaz Butt, the chairman with whom he has discussed the post, was not available for comment. A board spokesman, meanwhile, told Cricinfo the deal had not been finalised just yet. An official statement is expected tomorrow.

Malik was banned for life from any involvement in cricket by the PCB in 2000, following the findings of an independent inquiry into the match-fixing scandal that rocked Pakistan cricket at the turn of the millennium.

He had been fighting the ban in local and higher courts since then and the decision to lift his ban was delivered by the Lahore High Court last month.

"I hope after the court's decision of lifting the ban, the ICC will have no objection," Malik said, "and, if needed, we can also apply for ICC's endorsement of the court's decision."

Malik replaces Aaqib Javed, the former fast bowler, as head coach. Javed has been appointed assistant coach to Intikhab Alam for the national side and will accompany the team to Abu Dhabi for the three ODIs against the West Indies. Javed coached the Pakistan Under-19 team that won the World Cup in 2004 and has coached several academy sides. He has been touted as a potential coach of Pakistan.