Ijaz proposes Miandad, Zaheer and Mohsin for post of batting coach
LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) former chairman Ijaz Butt has suggested the incumbent chief Zaka Ashraf to hire either Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad or Mohsin Khan as national team’s batting coach besides appointing Wasim Akram or Sarfraz Nawaz as bowling coach in place of little-known Mohammad Akram.
“I came to know through media that the PCB is hiring a batting coach. First of all, I don’t know under which circumstances the need for a batting coach was felt since Dav Whatmore is also considered a batting coach.
“Still, if it [batting coach] is necessary for the national team I will advise Zaka not to rely on Level-III or Level-IV coaches as there are no better alternatives to experienced Test cricketers. And in this regard I will suggest to pick one from among Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad or Mohsin Khan,” Ijaz stated.
“During my tenure as PCB chairman I had given some batting-related assignments to Miandad and he did a good job.”
Earlier, when Zaka hired Dav Whatmore as national team’s head coach, the unreliability and inconsistency of several Pakistan batsmen continued to remain a major problem. Still, the PCB did not hire batting coach and opted for a bowling coach in Aaqib Javed, who later resigned to join the UAE cricket. At the time, the PCB chairman reckoned that since Whatmore was also a batting coach there was no need of a specialised batting coach.
However, now reversing the decision, Zaka has decided to hire a batting coach too.
Ijaz as PCB chairman relied on experienced former Pakistan Test cricketers as he first replaced Australia’s Geoff Lawson with pace bowling icon Waqar Younis as national coach. After Waqar left the scene, Ijaz made Mohsin the team’s head coach.
Ijaz said even the England and Wales Cricket Board hired the services of former Pakistan Test leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed who had no coaching degree but was an expert in his field.
Criticising the appointment of Mohammad Akram as national bowling coach, the former PCB chief reckoned the best choice for the said post was either Wasim or Sarfraz.
“Taking into consideration the calibre and experience of Wasim and Sarfraz as world-class fast bowlers, I think they can better serve the purpose as compared to [Mohammad] Akram,” he expressed.
Regarding the selection of Julien Fountain as national squad’s fielding coach had also failed to bring any improvement in fielding department, the former PCB boss proposed ex-Test batsman Ijaz Ahmed for the job.
Ijaz lauded the efforts of Sindh Sports Minister Dr Mohammad Ali Shah for organising two exhibition matches between Pakistan All Star XI and an International World XI side in Karachi, in an attempt to end the draught of international cricket in Pakistan.
“Convincing foreign players to visit Pakistan and play here was not an easy task but Dr Shah’s enthusiasm for cricket finally helped him succeed in this,” he remarked.
However, Ijaz lamented PCB’s decision of remaining away from the two-match Twenty20 series involving foreign cricketers in Karachi, saying the board’s approach did not convey a good message to the world.
“For the PCB, it was an ideal occasion to benefit from. In fact, the PCB could also invite ICC officials to personally witness these games, which would have helped the Board in inviting other teams to visit Pakistan in the future,” he concluded.