Pakistan news August 20, 2011

Waqar Younis resigns as Pakistan coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Waqar Younis has resigned as Pakistan coach citing personal reasons that include his and his wife's health. The upcoming tour of Zimbabwe will be his last assignment with the national team.

"I have tendered my resignation to the [Pakistan Cricket] board last week and the tour to Zimbabwe will be my last," Waqar Younis said at a press conference in Karachi. "I have taken this decision on personal grounds, including medical grounds, and have no differences with anyone and my resignation has been accepted by the board.

"Had everything in my personal life -- that is, my wife's health and my own -- been all right, I would not have taken this decision. But I do not want to fail to do the job justice because of the personal problems on my mind."

Waqar, 39, took over as coach of the national side in March 2010 in the aftermath of the disastrous tour of Australia on which Pakistan failed to win a single game. He replaced Intikhab Alam and his stint coincided with another turbulent phase for Pakistan cricket. The spot-fixing controversy erupted during the tour of England and the wicketkeeper, Zulqarnain Haider, fled to London while Pakistan was involved in a series against South Africa in the UAE. Prior to the World Cup, where his team reached the semi-final, Waqar oversaw a successful tour of New Zealand, where Pakistan won both the Test and ODI series.

Waqar described his tenure as coach as a "rollercoaster" and claimed his side was shocked when told that he'll be stepping down. "It was a roller coaster for me, with a lot of controversies including the spot-fixing scandal, but I am proud of the fact that all these young boys have carried on the good work despite these problems.

"I only told the players on Saturday morning, and they were shocked because until today the matter was between me and the PCB, but I am sure that this young team will do well in future."

The PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said: ""The PCB has accepted his resignation and understands his personal reasons. His tenure was good and we wish him the best in his future."

Waqar's most recent major assignment was the tour of the West Indies where Pakistan drew the Test series and won the ODI series but it was marred by his differences with then limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi over discipline and team selection that ultimately led to Afridi's retirement from international cricket. However, Waqar claimed his resignation had nothing to do with what transpired during the West Indies tour.

Ijaz Ahmed, the former Pakistan captain, who took over as batting and fielding coach at the same time as Waqar was appointed head coach, was appointed assistant coach for the tour of Zimbabwe. The PCB are yet to name a replacement for Waqar.

The tour of Zimbabwe begins on August 28 and includes one practice game, one Test, three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals.

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