Imran returns to coaching to boost Pakistan
Imran Khan has announced he is returning to coaching, to help lift Pakistan cricket out of the doldrums following a disastrous World Cup campaign
Wisden CricInfo staff
Imran Khan has announced he is returning to coaching, to help lift Pakistan cricket out of the doldrums following a disastrous World Cup campaign.
Imran led Pakistan to glory in the 1992 World Cup, but on his retirement he turned to politics, and is now a member of parliament and leader of the Movement for Justice Party.
"After Pakistan's disappointing performance in the World Cup, a lot of my friends asked me to help Pakistan cricket and despite my commitments in politics I have agreed to help with coaching," said Imran, speaking at a launch of regional cricket clinics. "I want to pay back what this country has given me."
Pakistan were among the pre-tournament favourites for the World Cup, but failed to go beyond the first round. In a massive overhaul, the selectors have since dumped eight senior players - including Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul Haq.
Imran believes that Pakistan needs to copy the approach taken by the Australians. "Pakistan has a lot of talent but we need to harness that talent like they do in Australia, which has enabled them to rule the cricket world. A player in Australia is ready for international cricket once he comes out of their academies and first class competitions, which is not there in our part of the world. Cricket is so very much popular in Pakistan that every boy wants to don the green cap but you need to work hard."
Rameez Raja, the chief executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, said a new first-class structure was among the many steps taken by the board to improve Pakistani cricket. "It is nice to have a person of Imran Khan's stature on board, and through these regional clinics and competitive first-class competitions we will set a strong foundation."