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Performance of Pakistani coaches of national team satisfactory: Inzamam

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LAHORE: In contrast to the policy adopted by Paki­stan Cricket Board interim Management Committee’s chairman Najam Sethi, former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq believes Pakistani coaches are also intelligent and have done pretty well for the national team.

Talking to media at a hotel here on Wednesday, Inzamam said the local coac­hes were also good and the performance of national team under them was not bad.

“Wins and defeats are part of the game but Pakistan team’s overall performa­nce under local coaches is satisfactory,” Inzamam said.

Former Test cricketers Saq­lain Mushtaq (head coa­ch) and Mohammad Yousuf (batting coach) are part of the national team’s present coaching staff.

It may be mentioned here that Sethi soon after taking charge last week in his policy statement had said he would opt for the services of foreign coaches for the national team and for the National High Performance Centre, underlining they understood modern cricket better.

Inzamam on the occasion also defended Babar Azam who as captain lost two successive home Test series against Australia (0-1) and then England (0-3) last year.

“Having led Pakistan, I know the pressure of captaincy. Any captain brings improvement with the passage of time but in Pakistan some of us are habitual of criticising [captain] after losing one series. In my opinion, there is no need to change the captain after losing a couple of series,” Inzamam, the hero of the 1992 World Cup-winning team, remarked.

However, Inzamam did not approve of the selection criteria for the ongoing home Test series against New Zealand, saying an equal number of bowlers and batsmen should have been included in the playing XI instead of fielding extra all-rounders.

To a question about the possible return of former pacer Mohammad Amir — who retired from all international cricket in December 2020 citing “mental torture” by the then team management — to the Pakistan team with the regime change in the PCB, Inzamam said it should be a decision purely taken by Amir.

Amir’s decision to retire from Tests in 2020 without any consultations, had irked the then PCB regime which gradually sidelined him from ODI and T20 Interna­tionals amid significant decline in the fast bowler’s on-field performance.

Recently, there have been reports signalling Amir’s willingness to return to Test cricket which the left-armer quit in 2019. Now with the new PCB management led by Sethi in place, the player visited the National High Perfo­rmance Centre in Lahore for training.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2023


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