LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ch Zaka Ashraf on Tuesday said the name of Pakistan cricket team batting coach was not finalized yet and at this stage, it was premature to say that the board will send a batting coach with the team for India tour.

Talking to the reporters at the inauguration of first ever Level-IV coaching course here at National Cricket Academy, Zaka said: “We are in process of selecting the most suitable batting coach for national team and the committee, formed by PCB for choosing an expert, is working on it. It is not sure we will be able to make a final decision in this regard before our team’s tour to India.”

He said the Indian Higher Commissioner has sought two-week time for announcing visa policy for Pakistani fans who will be going to India for witnessing Pak-India cricket series. “We are in touch with the Indian High Commission and nothing has been finalised yet and all the news appearing in media that Pakistani spectators desirous to get visas must be sponsored by Indians is nothing but totally wrong,” he said. “As soon as we receive visa policy from the Indian High Commission, we will make it public,” he added.

To a query, the PCB chief said they were willing to work with Punjab government for the revival and resumption of international cricket in Pakistan and PCB’s only demand from the Punjab government is to provide foolproof security to the foreign teams. “No matter it is Federal or Punjab government, we are ready to work together for achieving a collective cause of bringing international cricket back to the country and for this, we are striving hard. We want a firm official assurance from the Punjab government over providing of top security to the foreign teams,” he concluded.  Meanwhile, the Australian course conductor Ross Turner highlighted the importance of the course terming it a step forward to groom head coach and leaders in cricket team management.

The Level-IV course is being attended by 17 participants while on the side lines of the week-long activity Level-III is also being conducted with 27 participating in it. He said the Level-IV course will enable the participants to serve the game in a more professional way after acquiring the most modern knowledge of coaching. “The former players who are taking up coaching have edge over other participants because they have the experience of playing cricket and also know the technical aspects of the game,” he said.

To a query, he replied: “We are in very safe compound, enjoying our stay and there is no security issue.” He said the entire process to become a Level-IV coach was span over 18 months in which candidates were assessed twice and assigned coaching assignments after which they are certified.