KARACHI - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Najam Sethi says he has put faith in the combination of head coach Waqar Younis and chief selector-cum-manager Moin Khan to rid the national team of divisions and internal problems. “Waqar will be the strategic driving force in the team and Moin’s main role is chief selector. I am confident that when they work together every player in the team will get a clear message what is expected of them and what they can’t do,” Sethi said.
“You keep on hearing about problems in the team but I am sure when Waqar and Moin work together, these divisions and reports of players trying to undermine each other will end,” he added. The PCB chief said he was sure the players will be on their best behaviour and keen to perform to their optimum. “I am sure even Misbah-ul-Haq will be alert as captain. I am sure this combination will click,” he stated.
The PCB chief also defended the decision to appoint Waqar as head coach even though the Board had invited applications for the post from other candidates. “Waqar is a very popular choice…whoever we spoke too backed his appointment and even in the board he was a popular choice. After a long time the board now has a free hand to take long term decisions.”
The PCB chief maintained that he put full faith in the combination of Waqar and Moin and the captain to improve the team’s performances. He also reiterated his confidence in the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq saying he had the full backing of the board. Sethi also confirmed that while no bowling coach would be appointed with the team because Waqar would also look after this department, but the Board would announce a full-time batting coach, fielding coach, spin consultant and physiotherapist for the team. “We have shortlisted three candidates for the batting coach position and will make an announcement shortly.”
Former captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Zimbabwean Grant Flower are top candidates for the batting coach position while Pakistan’s former spin twins, Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq are in the run for the spin consultant position. Waqar will take charge as head coach in June.
Meanwhile Sethi reacted to the constant barrage of criticism unleashed by Javed Miandad since his resignation was accepted by the managing committee, which now runs cricket affairs in the country. Asked about the criticism by Miandad on a number of issues including the sacking of around 150 employees of the Board, Sethi said that even if 200 more employees were released it would not make a big difference to the financial health of the board.
He dismissed Miandad's contention that the board had sacked mostly lower grade employees. "This is not true there are only 25 per cent lower grade employees in the Board. Miandad himself was costing the board around Rs 15 million a year," Sethi said. "We have tried to utilise the money we paid to him by appointing former players as coaches who will now make positive contributions in the national cricket academy and in domestic cricket," he added.
Miandad has gone on warpath against the PCB for the last few days after serving as DG cricket since 2008. Even last night he criticised Sethi and the managing committee for taking long term decisions by appointing Waqar Younis for two years and Moin Khan also as chief selector for same period. "They don't have the mandate to take long term decisions so how can they do this. In the end they will go and these poor players will be running around courts to settle cases," he pointed out.
The former captain said he had a lot of secrets about the way Pakistan cricket has been run and in due course of time he would spill the beans. Miandad said that other countries were taking steps to save their sport from fixing menace but Pakistan had learnt no lessons from the past as Sethi did not have any understanding of the game.