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Intikhab Alam has emerged as the leading contender for the position of Pakistan coach after the removal of Geoff Lawson yesterday.
Intikhab said he has been offered a two-year contract but added that an official announcement will come from the board. "Yes, chairman Ijaz Butt has talked to me and offered a contract for two years. But they will officially announce it next month," Intikhab said.
There was initially some confusion, however, as Butt said Intikhab had only been appointed for the one-day series in Abu Dhabi against West Indies in November. "Intikhab will be coach for the Abu Dhabi series but we are considering two or three candidates for a long-term contract," Butt said.
But it later emerged that Intikhab was the leading long-term candidate and only a formal approval was needed. "We would like to appoint Alam for a two-year contract, but the final decision will be announced after we take the approval of (PCB's) governing board members," Butt told AP.
On the task at hand, Intikhab said, "It's not an easy job and I have taken up this assignment as a big challenge. Nobody is (player) bigger than the game and instilling discipline among the players will be my priority."
The PCB released Lawson from his contract with three months compensation pay insisting they were not satisfied with his performance. Lawson, who was supposed to complete a two-year contract with the national team next year in August, is still in Lahore. The new administration has been keen to hire a local coach, and the names of Javed Miandad and Aamer Sohail have also cropped up.
Intikhab has a successful track record as coach, having first been at the helm when Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup and then in 2000. He has also coached the Indian Punjab team in their domestic Ranji Trophy tournament for two seasons, taking them to the final in 2004-05.
Since 1997, Pakistan have had nine different coaches, some of whom, like Javed Miandad and Richard Pybus have been in the position more than once.