'Pakistan needs strong coach'
Karachi - Legendary paceman Wasim Akram said on Monday that irrespective of nationality, Pakistan needed a passionate and wise coach to rescue the team after humiliating defeats in Australia.
"What Pakistan needs is a passionate coach who is more involved with the boys and can form an effective strategy for the team," Wasim told AFP. "A good coach, foreign or local, with a high energy level is needed in modern cricket."
Pakistan is facing difficult times after Australia blanked them 3-0 in Tests and 5-0 in one-day internationals, then beat them in one Twenty20 on a tour that ended earlier this month.
Chief selector Iqbal Qasim resigned and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has formed a committee to investigate the reasons for the humiliating defeats.
Coach Intikhab Alam and wicket-keeper batsman Kamran Akmal were left out of the 14-man squad for two Twenty20 matches against England in Dubai on February 19 and 20.
The PCB has hinted at hiring a foreign coach to replace Alam, but former Australian captain and ex-India coach Greg Chappell has turned down an offer.
Wasim said he was not averse to a foreign coach.
"Foreign or local, the coach should be well versed with modern ideas and techniques and must develop a good rapport with the players," said Wasim who was instrumental in bringing in Richard Pybus as Pakistan's first foreign coach.
Pybus, who played for the English league and has been coaching in South Africa, first took over in 1999 but, coming back for a second stint, finished prematurely following Pakistan's first-round defeat in the 2003 World Cup.
But Wasim said poor security in Pakistan, where Islamist militant bombings have killed more than 3 000 people since July 2007, would put off foreigners.
"A foreign coach will not be willing to come to Pakistan and if you want a coach who can train the players only on tour then why not appoint a local man," said Wasim who backed former team-mate Ijaz Ahmed.
"Now the PCB has given Ijaz a chance. Let's see how he performs," said Wasim of Ijaz, who guided Pakistan's juniors to runners-up in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this month.
Ijaz was appointed batting and fielding coach for the Dubai Twenty20 for which there will be no head coach.
"Pakistan is finding it hard to find one captain, so it would be wise to chose one captain for all three forms of the game. Shahid Afridi or Shoaib Malik, whoever it is, must be appointed for one year," said Wasim.
Malik, sacked after the team's 2-1 home defeat in the one-day series against Sri Lanka in January last year, is leading Pakistan after Afridi was banned for ball-tampering in a one-day match in Australia.
Mohammad Yousuf led Pakistan in Tests and one-dayers on a recent tour of Australia.