The Telegraph
Thursday , February 6 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Two groups at play as Waqar seeks to return
- Test, odi captain misbah for former captain & coach


Calcutta: Former captain and coach Waqar Younis, who has been based in Sydney for years, is in Pakistan and has either applied/will apply for the head coach’s job.

The post got vacant after Dav Whatmore chose not to renew his two-year contract. His innings finished a little over two weeks ago.

Thursday is the deadline set by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for candidates to send their applications, which will be “screened” by a four-member committee.

Three former captains — Intikhab Alam, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram — are on the screening committee. The PCB’s chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmed, is the other member.

Of the former captains, Intikhab and Miandad have themselves coached Pakistan. The former, in fact, has worn the coach’s hat more than once.

The PCB has advertised for three positions — head coach, batting coach (an absolute first for Pakistan), fielding coach.

“If Waqar hasn’t already applied, then he’ll surely do so tomorrow,” a well-placed source, based in Karachi, told The Telegraph on Wednesday.

Waqar was Pakistan’s coach for around a year-and-a-half from March 2010. He resigned for “personal reasons,” but word is that he got “fed up” with groupism in the team and didn’t get the PCB’s backing to the extent he’d expected.

Even now, it’s understood that “two groups” are at play, both in the team and outside.

“Some in the team want Waqar to be back, others don’t want him in the dressing room. It’s the same story with the PCB officials... You can’t say that Waqar’s return is assured,” the well-placed source added.

Test and ODI captain Misbah-ul Haq, one learns, is for Waqar.

If there’s no consensus over Waqar, or some other candidate, then it’s likely that the PCB will name an interim head coach till the World T20, in Bangladesh.

Former captain Moin Khan’s name is doing the rounds, as also that of Mohammed Akram, the bowling coach.

While the World T20 is from March 16 to April 6, the Asia Cup, also in Bangladesh, is from February 25 to March 8.

Whoever succeeds Whatmore will require time to settle down before the No.1 tournament — the 50-over World Cup, which is exactly a year away.