Intikhab Alam, head of the committee appointed to find Pakistan's new coach, has said they may need to go with a foreigner since they wanted someone with the experience of coaching an international team. Zaheer Abbas, a member of the committee, and Ramiz Raja, who is assisting the committee, had both said they would prefer a local coach as he would have a better knowledge of the unique way in which Pakistani cricket functions. However, Alam, who has himself had two stints as coach of the national team and was recently replaced as team manager, said looking exclusively at coaches from within the country would limit their options.
"Naturally we will be considering local coaches, but the fact that we want people with international experience would obviously reduce the chances of some domestic coaches being shortlisted," Alam said. "I know opinion may differ on the matter and perhaps the other committee members won't agree with me on everything. But we will reach a consensus in the end. I don't see any real conflict in shortlisting names."
Abbas and Raja had cited the political situation in Pakistan as something that may make it difficult for a foreign coach to adjust, but Pakistan's last foreign coach Geoff Lawson said he had no trouble when he was in Pakistan and in fact thought another foreigner was the way for them to go.
The two names that have emerged as candidates from within Pakistan are Aaqib Javed and Mudassar Nazar. Javed has been involved in coaching within Pakistan for a decade now, having started at the Lahore Regional Academy and then moved on to stints as Pakistan Under-19 coach and head coach at the National Cricket Academy. He has been involved with the national team on-and-off since 2009, first as bowling coach and then as assistant coach, from which post he was removed before the Zimbabwe tour and replaced with Ijaz Ahmed. Nazar has coached Pakistan before, for a brief period between 2001 and 2002, and also coached Kenya in 2005, apart from roles as head coach of the NCA in Pakistan and then as part of the coaching staff at the ICC's Global Cricket Academy.
Nazar has himself backed Javed to be the next coach. "I have lot of faith in Aaqib as he has come through the Pakistan system," Nazar told Pakpassion.net. "He has been working in different roles for the last ten years. He is a good coach and I think he should be given a chance. I would be happy if he was given the role, provided he is given some support with a batting coach."
The final decision on who will replace Waqar Younis after the tour of Zimbabwe will be made by the PCB, Alam said. "We will be drawing up a list of coaches and recommending names to the PCB, who will then make a call."
Given Pakistan's history of conflicts occurring between coaches and players, with outgoing coach Waqar's public dispute with former one-day captain Shahid Afridi being the most recent example, Alam said the team needed a coach who could handle individual players. "It's a big task, but we want to find people who have already coached an international team and have a good reputation, so we have be very thorough while shortlisting the candidates. We want a coach with good man-management skills, who can cope with the differing psychological make-ups of players; his own cricketing experience must also measure up."
The committee will pick a new coach before Pakistan's series against Sri Lanka in the UAE this October.