Pakistan news August 29, 2011

PCB appoint committee to select coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

The PCB have appointed a three-member committee consisting of former players Zaheer Abbas, Intikhab Alam and Naushad Ali to select the next Pakistan coach. Ramiz Raja, the former Pakistan captain and current television commentator, has agreed to assist the committee. The committee will be headed by Alam, who has had two stints as Pakistan coach and was recently replaced as team manager.

Current coach Waqar Younis has announced he will resign after Pakistan's tour of Zimbabwe, and the committee will find a new coach before Pakistan's next assignment - Sri Lanka in the UAE this October.

The PCB said they were open to selecting a foreign coach. "Following the resignation of Waqar Younis as head coach, the board has formed a committee to look for a new coach from within or outside Pakistan," PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said. Pakistan have not had a foreign coach since Ijaz Butt became president of the board and removed Geoff Lawson. Ramiz said that trend could continue. "It is tough to list the best coaches available because currently opinion is divided on whether to bring in a Pakistani coach or a foreign one; both have advantages and disadvantages," he told ESPNcricinfo.

"The experiment with Waqar was quite successful. It would be ideal if someone from within the country with similar abilities and stature could replace him. But if not then someone from outside can come and understand our tradition, our cricket and our board."

Lawson had said Pakistan need a foreign coach who would not have to worry about local politics and that he did not have a problem with the language when he was in charge. Ramiz said it was more the unique political situation facing Pakistan cricket that would make it hard for a foreign coach to adapt. "As the PCB has repeatedly told the ICC, the situation in the country is a unique one; that should be made understood to any foreign coach. There are names that come to mind immediately but still it will take time to decide on the ideal candidate."

Abbas also said a local coach would be preferred. "My preference is for the next coach of the Pakistan cricket team to be Pakistani," he told "Although not entirely against a foreign coach, I think a non-Asian coach would be worried about the situation in Pakistan and this may affect the time he can spend in the country and how well he can perform the job. The individual we select should be non-controversial, someone who has played at the highest level for a lengthy period of time and a mature person."

During Waqar's tenure, he had a public dispute with former one-day captain Shahid Afridi. Though Waqar has maintained his resignation is due to health reasons, and has nothing to do with a conflict with anyone, Abbas said players needed to change their attitudes to allow a coach to be effective. "The mindset and attitude of some of the Pakistan players needs to change to allow a coach to do his job properly. If there are any disagreements or misunderstandings, then no player should go running to the media; instead discussions should be held behind closed doors with the team management and the board."

Waqar had been contracted till the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup and his departure means Pakistan will have to make their ninth change of coach in a decade. In that time, the longest any coach had lasted was Bob Woolmer's three-year stint from 2004 till his death during the 2007 World Cup.

Abbas said he hoped the next coach would have a long term. "I'd prefer if the next coach was given a three-year contract. That way he knows that he has some security in the role and some time to mould the team. In addition, the role and responsibilities of the coach should be made clear to the coach himself and the captain, so that there is no confusion about what the coach's domain is and there is no overlapping of duties."