The PCB has confirmed the appointment of former fast bowler Waqar Younis as Pakistan coach, replacing Intikhab Alam. Waqar has been offered a contract till December 2011 and comes to the helm after a disastrous tour of Australia, which Pakistan finished without a win. Former Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed, who was in charge of the national Under-19 team which reached the final of the World Cup in New Zealand, will be the batting and fielding coach.
PCB chairman, Ijaz Butt, said the board had also considered Waqar's new-ball bowling partner in the 90s, Wasim Akram, for the post. "We had a choice between Younis and Wasim Akram," Butt said, "but since Akram was busy with his commitments in the media we decided to appoint Younis as the new coach."
Waqar has already had a couple of stints as bowling coach, first between March 2006 and January 2007 when Bob Woolmer was head coach, and then on the recent visit to Australia. He is being offered a monthly salary of 650,000 rupees (US$7600). His first challenge will be to prepare the team for the defense of their World Twenty20 crown in the Caribbean in a couple of months.
Waqar's appointment comes after the PCB failed to convince former Australian captain Greg Chappell to take up the coaching job. "Foreign coaches were demanding big money and were willing to work with our team only when its touring some other country," Butt said. "This was not acceptable to us."