By Rashid Ali Siddiqui, Karachi – Pakistan, May 6, 2014: Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis has been appointed as the head coach of Pakistan cricket team for a two-year period starting from June 2014.
His first task will be to prepare Pakistan team for a home series against Australia at the United Arab Emirates in October. Younis enjoyed a short successful stint with the team as the head coach previously during the period 2010-2011, taking Pakistan team to the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup but left charge in mysterious circumstances.
He had developed differences with the then captain Shahid Afridi. It remains to be seen that how they will manage their terms with each other. But this time, all-rounder Shahid Afridi may find himself in awkward situation since Younis will have strong backing from his playing day’s friend Moin Khan, who has dual responsibilities at the moment as chief selector and manager of Pakistan team.
Interestingly Moin Khan is also an important member of 3-member committee that picked Waqar as head coach.
Waqar Younis was also bowling coach of Pakistan in 2006-07.
Earlier Waqar had been head coach of Pakistan team from February 2010 to September 2011, during which time he led Pakistan to the 2011 World Cup semi-final.
Waqar had been fearsome fast bowler during his career. He formed deadly combination with another legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram. He played 87 tests and 262 One Day Internationals.
Waqar, 42, expressed satisfaction over his appointment says that he was extremely pleased to have been selected as the head coach.
“My immediate aim would be to prepare the team for the upcoming busy cricket season including the next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand”, he says in a statement issued by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) while releasing notification of his new assignment.
The PCB has also advertised for fielding and batting coaches and a spin bowling consultant as they seek to build towards the World Cup.
Waqar, who played 87 Tests and 262 one-day internationals, was one of the world’s leading fast bowlers in the 1990s, forming a fearsome bowling partnership with left-arm quick Wasim Akram.
He left the post of coach in 2011 over health issues, but later complained that being paid less was one of his reasons for quitting the job.
Waqar’s first assignment will be Pakistan’s tour to Sri Lanka in July-August for two Tests and three one-day internationals. They then play Australia and New Zealand in United Arab Emirates. —- By Rashid Ali Siddiqui