The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Heads will roll, promises Bari

Johannesburg: Pakistan’s chief selector Wasim Bari on Saturday threatened to overhaul the national team after they were knocked out in the first round of the cricket World Cup.

“A rebuilding process is imminent and some new players are bound to be introduced after what happened in South Africa,” Bari said by telephone from Karachi.

“New players will unfortunately take more time to mature so it could be a mix of new and a few senior players.”

With coach Richard Pybus already deciding to quit, captain Waqar Younis also appears to be on his way out with sources suggesting that pace legend Wasim Akram was once again eyeing the job despite having had three spells in charge of the team.

Since 1998, Pakistan has appointed 10 different coaches for the national team, six captains and as many managers.

That should not come as a surprise since the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) itself was headed by four different people between 1998 and 1999 when Lt Gen. Tauqir Zia took over.

Former captain Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to its sole World Cup triumph in 1992, warned the worst was not over yet.

“We will go down further if we don’t change the domestic system and don’t find early replacements for the seniors,” Imran said from Islamabad.

“I would suggest that Wasim should stay on for another year and we should have a home grown coach,” added Imran.

Newspaper reports in Pakistan speculated that Lt Gen. Zia, too will be replaced by another serving Army general, Muneer Hafeez, and that former star Javed Miandad will return as coach.

Other reports said that wicketkeeper Moin Khan, who was sacked as captain in 2001, will be given back the job.

“We need to be consistent,” said former captain and coach of the ’92 team Intikhab Alam. “You can’t build a house if you keeping replacing the bricks.”

Inquiry starts

Meanwhile, the three-member inquiry committee appointed by the PCB to review its team’s performance at the World Cup, began functioning on Saturday and was planning to summon players and officials at its next meeting.

The committee, headed by Naushad Ali and comprising former cricketers Aquib Javed and Sultan Rana, held a marathon seven-hour long meeting at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium during which it finalised its course of action for the next two weeks.

“If we have to reach to the bottom of the issue, we will have to talk to everyone who was associated with the team, whether it be players, management or members of the cricket board,” Ali said.

“There will be an honest and sincere effort in which there will be transparency.”

The committee has been given 15 days to submit its report.

“It was a productive meeting in which we shared our thoughts and decided how to go about the assignment that has been given to us. We have outlined our course of action and for the next two weeks, we will sit together so that we can meet our deadline of March 23,” Ali said.

Ali, a retired Army colonel, also sought to clarify he was not heading an inquiry committee. “It is a review committee that will study the technical aspects of the team’s performance and recommend suggestions as to how the team’s performance can be improved in future,” he said.

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