PCB shortlists five coaches

pakistan cricket boardKARACHI: Pakistan have shortlisted five candidates to replace coach Waqar Younis after the deadline expired to apply for one of the toughest jobs in cricket, an official said Thursday.Waqar resigned on medical grounds earlier this month, leaving Pakistan, gripped by Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence, scrambling for a replacement.The three member Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recommendatory committee, set up to suggest names for a coach for Pakistan cricket team, which met here Thursday at a local hotel shortlisted the names which will be conveyed to a high powered committee which has the power to name the coach.

The committee is headed by former test captain and manager Pakistan cricket team Intekhab Alam and former Test wicket keeper Naushad Ali and former Test skipper Zaheer Abbas who is consultant to the panel met to discuss the long list of 37 names which had applied for the coveted post.Former captain and coach Intikhab Alam said interest was encouraging. “We received some 12 applications from abroad and 25 from within Pakistan and after a meeting we have shortlisted five candidates,” said Alam, whom Waqar replaced as coach in March 2010.

Alam refused to divulge any names. “We will give the names to PCB chairman Ijaz Butt who has the right to choose the coach,” he said. Last month, the PCB said it would contact high-profile coaches such as Australia’s Dav Whatmore and South Africa’s Mickey Arthur.Arthur is currently coaching Western Australia while Whatmore is the head coach at India’s national academy and also helping the Kolkata Knight Riders. Alam said Pakistan could look for an interim coach for the Test series against Sri Lanka in the United Arab Emirates, starting next month.

“An interim coach for the Sri Lanka series is a possibility but everything is now in the hands of the PCB,” said Alam. Pakistan play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka refused to tour Pakistan over security fears.In March 2009, militants ambushed the Sri Lankan tour bus in the Pakistani city of Lahore, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding seven Sri Lankan players and their assistant coach.

The committee also announced that they would recommend one candidate on October 15 to the high powered committee which would take the final decision. It could either reject the recommendation or name their own candidate for the position.It was surprising that the committee met at local hotel whereas they could have easily held the meeting at the National stadium and held a media briefing there where all the local media was available. However they choose to hold the meeting in the seclusion of the well-guarded hotel. – Nation