The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Deliver or make way, Miandad tells boys

Islamabad: Hoping for a long tenure for himself, Pakistan’s newly-appointed coach Javed Miandad sent out a strong message to the new-look team on Wednesday asking it to perform or perish.

Addressing his first press conference after taking over from Richard Pybus, Miandad, who has been twice sacked as coach earlier, said his own credentials should not be judged by the performance of the team.

“The coach should be judged by his commitment and input. But the onus of delivering lies on the boys,” Miandad said in Lahore.

He was happy that the Pakistan Cricket Board had made the players accountable for their performance and dropped several top stars after the team’s debacle at the World Cup.

“The players are not bigger than the game. In the past, when the team used to lose, the boards were changed. But this time, the board has stayed and the senior boys have been dropped.

“I think it is a good message to all the players that if they perform, they will stay, otherwise they will have to make way for others,” he said.

In an apparent dig at some of the players who have been left out of the Pakistan squad for the tri-series scheduled in Sharjah, Miandad said Pakistan cricket needed to get out of the concept of senior and junior cricketers.

“There is no senior or junior inside the rope,” he said. “All play for one cause and that is for the country. Respect has to come from inside and it should not be made an ego problem.

“Cricket is not any individual’s property,” Miandad said. Anybody performing will play in the team.

“Cricket is an easy sport for anyone who shows commitment, discipline and dedication but extremely difficult for those who don’t follow these basic principles.”

Miandad said his term and package had not yet been decided but said he was hopeful of a long tenure.

“I think since it is a rebuilding phase, my term will be a long one. I don’t want to discuss the past but in cricket you learn every day and, I think, I have learnt a lot from my previous two experiences as coach.

Miandad has been brought in as coach for the third time since 1999. In his previous two terms, he had to step down after differences with senior players.

“I made mistakes in the past and I have learnt from them,” he said. “This time things will be different and I have come with a different attitude,” Miandad said.

“I have shown in the past that I am prepared to work with them for five or even six hours. And by the grace of Almighty, my teams have done well in the past. So I am confident that I will be able to serve my country this time also.

“Naturally, I have a challenging task ahead but the players will also have to understand that they have a heavier responsibility on their shoulders. They have to understand that they are playing for the country and thus, have to take pride in playing.”

Miandad said the rebuilding process should be complete in a year but it depended on how quickly the players improved.

“All depends on how quickly they learn and improve. They will get all the facilities but it is they who have to respond.

“We will only be able to meet our tentative time frame of 12 months if we work together and show urgency. We have to realise that we have a lot of ground to make and, therefore, we will have to improve everyday,” he said.

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