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Intikhab Alam is coach-cum-manager for Punjab

October 03, 2004 19:41 IST

Former Pakistan skipper Intikhab Alam on Sunday took charge as the coach-cum-manager of the Punjab cricket team, a month before the domestic championship kicks-off.

Alam, who is the first foreigner to coach a Ranji side, said he was confident of building a competitive team and added that his priority would be to build a rapport with the players as early as possible.

"I am very happy and looking forward to do my best (in coaching the Punjab cricket team)," he told reporters in Mohali.

"I will prefer to develop personal rapport with each and every Punjab player. It's takes time to build a side."

He, however, said he would not promise anything big at this moment but would surely try and make the team one of the best in the country.

Alam, who was the Manager of the 1992 World Cup winning Pakistan team, said he would watch matches played by various teams played across the state and pick up at least 15 to 20 players and hold camps in the run-up to the Ranji trophy.

Born in Hoshiarpur in Indian Punjab, Alam is well acquainted with the culture, food and people of this region and said he would have no problems in handling the assignment.

Welcoming Alam, PCA President I S Bindra said this would mark a new beginning and build new bonds between the two countries.

On being asked why PCA preferred a Pakistani over an English or an Australian coach, he said "the most important thing in coaching is communication."

"Language in Pakistan and here is same. He (Alam) would be communicating to them (Punjab players) in their own lingo," he added.

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