The grooming of young players at the club level followed by coaching at higher levels has been a dilemma for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), a problem which is self-created. There are two factors responsible for the malady. Firstly, the ego of the old hags sitting in the board, who oppose the senior players they do not like to hold coaching assignments, to satisfy their whims and fancies. Secondly the PCB high-ups harbouring a false notion that the appointment of a foreign coach would elevate the status of our board in the cricket world.

The advancement of our team has suffered considerably due to the above factors. It may be noted that most of our national players being semi-literate are unable to understand English language with the technical words and phrases going over their heads. With such a big language gap between teacher and the pupils, it is obvious that the boys do not learn much. With all the cricket experience, I am fully convinced that what we can teach our players in our own language can never be taught in twisted English accent of a foreigner. The PCB has wasted millions on engaging foreign coaches at different times but none of them brought any miraculous results.

It is unfortunate that the PCB never tried to make capital out of the talent and ability of our superstars by providing them coaching assignments. Javed Miandad was engaged a couple of times but for short stints only. The politics and infighting in the board did not allow him to stay for long. Let it be known that the players of national level only need to polish up their game by improving the quality of shots, eradicate mistakes and learn finer points of the game. There could not be a better coach than Javed Miandad to teach them all this. Same applies to the bowlers who should be equipped with the art of accurate and economical bowling. The three stumps should be the target with on and off movement of the ball. We also failed to utilise the magical ability of stalwarts like Sarfraz Nawaz and Abdul Qadir who if appointed as coaches would have produced world class fast bowlers as well as spinners. Mohsin Khan was doing a wonderful job as coach. Removing him from the job and appointing a foreigner Dav Whatmore being more of a political move has brought no significant rise in the standard of our team.

The PCB’s slogan of ‘making all appointments on merit’ has been fully exposed. While super stars like Waseem Akram and Waqar Younis who shook the cricket world with their jet speed cum tricky bowling were longing for the job, the PCB has shocked the cricket lovers by appointing a virtually unknown player named Mohammad Akram as the bowling coach. Just imagine a player who played only 9 Tests and taken 17 wickets in his Test career being appointed to coach a team having a galaxy of superstars. With the germs of politics inflicting its body and soul, the PCB even did not realise that the ‘status of a coach must be higher than the players’ he is supposed to train.

RAFI NASIM,

Lahore, August 28.