| Intikhab Alam
Calcutta: The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) move to reappoint Intikhab Alam as coach has been held up: The Union sports ministry hasn’t given its clearance as yet.
The former Pakistan captain and World Cup-winning coach — in those days, though, the designation was cricket manager — did the job both in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
“As per our contract with him, Intikhab was to have joined on September 1. His arrival has been delayed as we haven’t received New Delhi’s okay,” a PCA official told The Telegraph.
Speaking from Mohali (where the Inderjit Singh Bindra-headed state body is headquartered) on Friday evening, he added: “The necessary documents have been submitted to the sports ministry… Apparently, they’ve been forwarded to two other ministries — home and external affairs… Their clearance is mandatory…”
The “documents” include a copy of PCA’s contract with Intikhab and an endorsement from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
“Hopefully, we’ll get the green signal in the next week or so… Even Intikhab’s visa can’t be processed till we’ve got the okay,” the PCA official pointed out.
The ‘scrutiny’, one assumes, is more intense because of Intikhab’s nationality. His roots, however, are in our own Hoshiarpur.
The decision to reappoint Intikhab, 64, was taken at the PCA’s working committee meeting on August 5.
Punjab made the Ranji Trophy final in his first season as coach, but the state didn’t do well in 2005-06.
Intikhab, though, helped Dinesh Mongia maintain a high degree of consistency and he’s back in Team India.
In Mongia’s words, the coach helped “change” his mind-set and made him “hungry” for big scores.