Greg Chappell declines Pakistan coaching job
Greg Chappell has turned down an approach from the Pakistan board to coach the national team. Chappell's name had been floating around Pakistan cricket's corridors of power as a possible alternative to Intikhab Alam, the incumbent, whose position is currently in limbo following Pakistan's tour to Australia where they failed to win a single match.
Chappell, a former Australian captain, coached India for two tumultuous years between 2005 and 2007. He is now working with Cricket Australia, a role which he is reluctant to leave and he confirmed that an approach had been made. "Wasim Bari [chief operating officer, PCB] rang me yesterday," Chappell told Cricinfo. "I was honoured and flattered by the approach but I have declined the invitation.
"I have no ambition to coach at the international level again and I am committed to my role with CA as Head Coach at the Centre of Excellence and Chairman of our National Youth Selection Panel."
The approach does at least confirm that the PCB is actively looking for a replacement for Intikhab, an issue over which there is considerable confusion still. Ijaz Butt, chairman PCB, told a TV channel a few days ago that Pakistan would have no problems in looking outside for a coach.
It was then announced that Intikhab would not be accompanying Pakistan to Dubai where they take on England in two T20Is on February 19 and 20. Aaqib Javed, the assistant coach, is not travelling with the side either. Instead, Ijaz Ahmed, coach of the Pakistan Under-19 side that finished runners-up at the recent World Cup, will be with the team as a batting and fielding coach; he is already in the UAE with the Pakistan 'A' side.
Bari played down the move, saying it wasn't unusual for a coach to not travel with the side, especially on such a short tour. He refused to say definitively whether Intikhab, in his third stint as coach with the senior team, was being removed and also denied that contact had been made with Chappell.
Cricinfo understands that the board, perhaps surprisingly, has yet to make any contact with Intikhab over the decision to not send him to Dubai, or over his future beyond that, a lack of communication those close to Intikhab say has disappointed him. Intikhab was appointed by the board in October 2008, as a replacement for Geoff Lawson, on a two-year contract. At the time the board was keen to go for a local option. He was at the helm as Pakistan won the ICC World Twenty20 in June last year, but has also seen Pakistan go through all of last year having failed to win a single ODI or Test series.
He is due to appear before a board inquiry committee, headed by Bari, on February 13 to explain the reasons behind Pakistan's performance in Australia. His tour report has already been handed in. The board insists that any final decision on the future of the coach, a new captain and any other appointments, will only be taken once the committee has presented its findings
Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo