The PCB has replaced former coach Intikhab Alam as Pakistan's team manager for the tour of Zimbabwe. Intikhab was appointed manager in October 2010 ahead of the series against South Africa in UAE. Taking his position is Naveed Akram Cheema, a member of the PCB's governing board. Assistant coach Aaqib Javed and assistant manager Shahid Aslam have also been left out of the Zimbabwe touring party.
"Changing the manager is not performance related," Subhan Ahmed, the PCB's chief operating officer, told PTI. "We appoint a manager on a series by series basis. Intikhab is also head of the development programme at the National Cricket Academy and wants to devote more time to the ongoing programmes. Cheema is a member of the governing board, so he has been appointed manager for the Zimbabwe series."
Intikhab also said his focus was now on working on the development of the game at the academy level. "We have started several programmes in the country which many upcoming players are attending. The Under-16s talent-hunt programme is underway in more than 45 districts throughout Pakistan and we are working on some more programmes for the winter. While I have enjoyed working as team manager, I need to dedicate more time to the programmes in our academies."
Cheema had accompanied Pakistan A on their tour of the West Indies last year and he is the managing director of the country's largest power supply corporation - Water and Power Development Corporation. He said he would ask Intikhab for advice to help the team. "I will be seeking advice from my predecessor Intikhab Alam, who is also a dear friend," he said. "Our collective aim is to ensure that the team do well on the tour and that there is harmony and unity among the squad members."
Intikhab's tenure as manager coincided with a difficult time for Pakistan cricket. During the series against South Africa, wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider fled to the UK, later claiming he was threatened by bookmakers. Earlier this year, following Pakistan's return from the Caribbean, Shahid Afridi was removed as ODI captain and he responded by retiring "conditionally" from international cricket. Intikhab, in his tour report, acknowledged a rift between coach Waqar Younis and Afridi. He described Afridi as a "highly hyper-active personality who lacks [the] temperament to listen to other people's point of views or look for solutions for the betterment of the team."
The ICC's Pakistan Task Team (PTT) in its recommendations to the ICC and the PCB, including ways to improve governance of cricket in Pakistan, questioned Intikhab's multiple roles in the board. In addition to being the team manager at the time the report was submitted, Intikhab was also the chairman of the cricket committee, director of game development and a governing board member.