Pakistan news February 12, 2014

Moin picked unanimously - Najam Sethi

With Najam Sethi back at the helm of the PCB, Moin Khan's appointment as head coach didn't come as a surprise. But he wasn't an automatic choice. Apart from Moin, the PCB's coach committee, comprising former captains Javed Miandad, Intikhab Alam and Wasim Akram, had shortlisted another heavyweight candidate in Waqar Younis. The PCB's management committee though unanimously voted for Moin.

"Waqar Younis is my hero. He has great reputation, integrity, and is a man of wisdom, but after all consideration we had to choose Moin Khan," Sethi said. "No doubt he [Waqar] is good, but after considering all the factors we have decided to go with the first option [Moin]."

Last year, when the PCB was caught up in legal tussles, Sethi had brought Moin into the setup during his interim term. He was made the Pakistan team manager in July 2013.

"Moin has been with the team for the last six months and has good rapport [with the team] and the captain and players respect him, so continuity is one of the factors in our decision," Sethi said.

ESPNcricinfo understands Sethi was the last man who voted for Moin, after one member of the management committee expressed serious reservations over Waqar.

Waqar had first served as coach from March 2010 to September 2011. That term had ended when he resigned citing personal reasons, shortly after falling out with the then captain, Shahid Afridi, during a tour of the West Indies. He had been confident he would get a second term, and was planning to shift his family from Australia to the UAE. But he didn't rue not getting the chance, and vowed to support the new coach.

"These are difficult times for Pakistan cricket and instead of crying over anything we should support the new coach and try our best to lift Pakistan cricket," Waqar told AFP. "I accept the decision with openness and hope that we all move forward for the betterment of Pakistan cricket which has seen huge turmoil in the last few years, not seen before in its history."

Waqar expressed his concern over the uncertainty in Pakistan cricket, which saw yet another twist on Monday when Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister and patron of the PCB, dismissed Zaka Ashraf and dissolved the board of governors. Sharif directed a management committee to pick a PCB chairman from among its eight members and it chose Sethi as full-time chairman.

"All these matters hurt Pakistan cricket badly and it is imperative that we must solve the problems quickly," Waqar said, adding that Moin, who has been appointed for this month's Asia Cup and next month's World Twenty20, should have been given a longer contract. "I think it is unjust to give him just two tours, I don't think even [Moin] Khan would like this short tenure because for stability a coach needs longer time."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

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