LAHORE – Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Director International Cricket Intikhab Alam pointing out two potential venues for the hosting of the Pakistan’s home series against Australia has said that the cricket board will finalise the venue soon.
“I have visited and examined both the venues and have felt that the conditions and wickets of both the venues are almost same. “We will keep in mind several factors before taking the final decision on the selection of the venue,” he said.
He also urged the Punjab government to let the security wall of the PCB be constructed to help get the international cricket back to the country.
“PCB Chief Ch Zaka Ashraf and the cricket board are striving hard to revive international cricket in Pakistan and endeavouring to encourage foreign teams to visit the country, but such incidents will mar those efforts,” he said. “It is the security which is of paramount importance and the international teams are reluctant to come over here under such insecure conditions where headquarter of the Pakistan cricket is not secure. The demolished wall of the PCB has sent a negative impression to the world of cricket and damaged image of the country and it should be solved within the security parameters,” he added. “The wall is being constructed as laid out by the ICC security protocol. Even on my visit to several venues I was questioned about the wall demolition that you are trying to revival international cricket and the security wall is being brought down again and again so how the PCB would invite international teams to Pakistan,” he stressed.
To a query regarding bowling coach, he said: “We have eight new applications regarding hiring of bowling coach in which some are level IV. It means the one who has complete
know how of using biomechanics and PCB in collaboration with Australian Cricket Board is organising Level IV coaching coarse which will be very helpful to local coaches.”
Talking about Waseem Akram’s training to Pakistani bowlers, Intikhab said: “Pakistan team is on Sri Lanka tour therefore we are not utilizing his services yet but I will personally invite to hold a camp of more than 20 emerging youngsters which will prove very helpful for them.”
Intikhab Alam, the former Test captain who heads the PCB national academy affairs told reporters that Wasim would be invited to coach at the camp which will feature the country’s best emerging talent.
“I hope Wasim can spare some time out of his schedule and give some time for the camp because the players can learn from his experience and skills,” Intkhab said. Wasim has twice held short camps for fast bowlers for the board in the past but by and large both have had differences over Wasim’s role in Pakistan cricket affairs. While the board has insisted that Wasim’s busy schedule as a commentator, host and consultant in the IPL has prevented them from utilising his services fully, Wasim has time and again complained he would love to work with Pakistani players provided the board invites him properly.
Intikhab said the camp was being set up primarily to shortlist the best talent among the emerging players and give them the opportunity of training with some of the former top players and coaches of the country.
Wasim is said to have played a more influential role this year in the IPL in his job as bowling consultant and mentor for the Kolkatta Knight Riders which went on to win the IPL title for the first time. Intikhab also said that he had submitted his report on his visits to Malaysia and UAE which were possible neutral venues to host Pakistan’s one-day series against Australia in August.
Intikhab, who was sent by the board to inspect the ground conditions and weather situation, said he expected a final decision on the venues to host the Australia series in two to three days. The PCB has also sought input from the team management, currently in Sri Lanka, on which country would be more suitable to host the Australia series.
Sources said that this might well be Intikhab’s last major assignment for the board since the Chairman, Zaka Ashraf was not happy at the way some deserving players were left out of the list of players given central contracts and retainers by the board on the recommendations of a committee that was headed by Intikhab. Intikhab is also said to have played major roles in convincing the board to hire Dav Whatmore as coach and also replace Misbah-ul-Haq as the national T20 captain.