Cricket Buzz: Waqar Younis to be Pakistan's new head coach
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi has confirmed that former Test captain Waqar Younis will take over as head coach of the national team later this month.
Sethi said two-year contracts have been offered to chief selector-cum-manager Moin Khan and Younis.
He also said the combination of Moin and Waqar would work well for the national team.
"It was never a Moin or Waqar option for us as formulated by Akram (Wasim). The new formula has both former players in a format that we think will produce better results. That’s why I have now given them two-year contracts like (Dav) Whatmore earlier," Sethi said in an interview to the Express Tribune.
Younis, who also coached the Pakistan in the not too recent past, met Sethi on Wednesday in Lahore, where he said he had confirmed his desire and availability to work with the Pakistan team.
Younis, who has also formally applied for the head coach’s position, insisted that he has no differences with anyone, including Moin, and is keen to work with the team and produce positive results.
Sethi disclosed the reasons for choosing the new coaching panel that includes Moin Khan and will recommend names for the head coach, fielding coach, batting coach and spin consultant positions to the board by May 6.
He felt that the old committee formed to hunt for a new coach and which functioned under former chairman Zaka Ashraf and included former captain Wasim Akram failed to deliver the desired results.
"I inherited two options [either Moin or Waqar] from Ashraf and Akram and had to select one on the eve of the team’s departure to Dhaka to play the Asia Cup and the WorldTwenty20.
"I put the matter before our managing committee and they chose the option led by Moin Khan which Akram had listed at number one. Not everyone was happy with the decision, but we let it go because there was no time to constitute a new committee and come up with different choices."
He added that instead of choosing the path of vindictiveness, the board decided on making only a few necessary modifications in the team management after the World Twenty20.
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Image: Waqar Younis
Photographs: Getty Images
Questions being raised about Australia's No 1 Test status
Opening batsman Chris Rogers is uncertain whether Australia deserves to be ranked World No 1 in Tests, saying the team's 4-0 drubbing by India was not the mark of a top team.
Australia were promoted to the pinnacle for the first time in nearly five years on Thursday, when the ranking system dropped results from the 2010-11 season from its calculations.
While hailed by most local media, Australia's promotion without a ball being bowled has raised eyebrows, coming only weeks after South Africa were awarded a $475,000 cheque by the ICC for finishing the season on top.
Rogers suggested he was also unconvinced.
"I don't know, personally," Rogers said on Cricket Australia's website (www.cricketaustralia.com).
"Obviously, there's still some unfinished business.
"Losing 4-0 in India -- you can't do that if you're number one -- but I think to beat South Africa in South Africa meant a lot.
"They were number one and to go beat them in their place; I think that is a big achievement.
"I think we're going in the right direction and we just need to keep playing well."
Australia lost 4-0 in India last year before being beaten 3-0 in England, but turned it around to thrash England 5-0 in the return Ashes series on home soil.
They finished the season strongly with a hard-fought 2-1 series win away to the Proteas.
Ironically, South Africa can reclaim the top ranking with Test wins against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe before Australia have a chance to defend it in a series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October.
"Australia is No.1 again not so much because it beat South Africa a few moments ago, but because previous adverse results... no longer count," Australian cricket writer Greg Baum wrote in Melbourne's The Age newspaper on Friday.
"It is the fishing fleet who stayed out and won the premiership... Good on Australia, for now. But as much as this vindicates Australia, it betrays the shallowness of world cricket."
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Image: Chris Rogers
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Rod Marsh is Australia's chief selector; Mark Waugh in panel
Former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh has been named as the new head of Australian cricket's selectors, while top-order batsman Mark Waugh was appointed to the panel for the first time.
Marsh, 66, replaces John Inverarity, who had already indicated he would step down when his tenure ended.
Waugh replaced former pace bowler Andy Bichel on the four-man panel.
Former chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns has also rejoined the panel, while Australia coach Darren Lehmann retained his place.
"Rod Marsh is the right man to take on this important role having been a key member of the panel since 2011," Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.
"His track record speaks for itself. He brings a wealth of experience to the position, having been a leading player, coach and most recently a selector.
"He has a great eye for talent and has strong relationships throughout international cricket."
Marsh's elevation to head the panel means he will step down as Cricket Australia's manager of elite coaching development.
Inverarity had said that while he would step down from the chairmanship he would be keen to stay on for an additional 12 months when his tenure ended, if needed, though CA's board decided it would be best to rejig the panel, Sutherland added.
Under Inverarity's tenure, Australia have regained the top ranking in world cricket after being the fourth-best Test nation when he first took the position.
"He leaves his post with Australian teams in a position of strength holding the number one ranking in Test and one-day international cricket.
"That reflects his commitment and the astute judgment he brought to the role at a challenging time for Australian cricket."
Hohns served on the panel from 1993-2006 and was chairman for a decade before going back to state cricket with Queensland.
Waugh, who gave Australia a blistering opening partnership with Adam Gilchrist in limited overs matches, would focus on the shorter form of the game, Sutherland said.
"He was one of the world's greaTest one-day international players (and) we think he can add a lot, particularly in an important World Cup year," Sutherland said.
Australia and New Zealand host the Cricket World Cup from Feb. 14 to Match 29 next year.
The new panel will first meet on July 1 with their first job to name a side to play a one-day triangular tournament involving South Africa and hosts Zimbabwe in August.
Image: Australia's selector Rod Marsh and coach Darren Lehmann
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images