Aaqib Javed steps down as UAE coach
Former Pakistan fast bowler Aaqib Javed has stepped down as UAE coach and is considering taking up the role of director (cricket operations) with Pakistan Super League franchise, Lahore Qalandars.
Javed, who has also served as Pakistan's assistant coach, took up a three-year contract with UAE in 2012, replacing Kabir Khan. During his stint, UAE gained ODI and T20I status and qualified for the 2015 World Cup. They also played in the first round of the 2014 World T20, the team's first appearance at a world-level tournament since the 1996 World Cup.
"I have decided to resign from the UAE job and go back to Pakistan," Javed told ESPNcricinfo. "I think I have done great with the team and now I don't see anything left for me to do. They have the ODI status, played cricket at the highest level against big teams, and now it's just a repetition and I don't want to do it again. In an Associate country like UAE, you do at a certain level and when you achieve every goal, then you start losing interest and there is no motivation left. So I decided to move on and try something different."
Javed, who played for Pakistan between 1988 and 1998, has been involved in coaching over the last decade. He started with the Lahore Regional Academy and then moved on to stints as Pakistan's Under-19 coach and head coach at the National Cricket Academy. He was also involved with the Pakistan national team with stints as bowling coach and assistant coach between 2009 and 2012. Recently, he was seen as a candidate for the role of Pakistan coach, following Waqar Younis' resignation, but he withdrew. He has said, however, that he will "definitely" consider coaching a Test-playing team if the job is offered to him.
"I am looking ahead to bigger goals now as I have done everything - being at no. 2 in the command, and recently coaching UAE - so why not go beyond that. Something that kept me motivated when I joined UAE was that I knew I had to work hard to gather a broken team and get them to stand on their feet, so that was a new experience and I loved doing that. So now I don't want to take up the old job and do the same things again. I am thinking beyond that and if I am offered [the role], I will definitely consider being a head coach of a full Test-playing nation."
Lahore Qalandars executive Atif Rana confirmed the franchise has been in touch with Javed for a comprehensive role, which will be formalized later this week. "The deal hasn't been done yet," Rana told ESPNcricinfo. "We have been in touch with Aaqib for long and on Saturday we will be putting up his case in our board and will take a final call. It is partly true that we are interested to rope him in but there are a lot of discussions left before we formally announce."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson