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MENAFN - Arab News - 22/01/2014

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(MENAFN -Arab News) KARACHI: Pakistan cricket authorities on Tuesday began the hunt for a new head coach for the national team, a day after Dav Whatmore’s two-year tenure ended with a series-leveling victory over Sri Lanka.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in a statement it “has invited applications for the positions of head coach, batting coach and fielding coach for the national team.”

Whatmore, a former Australian batsman who was born in Sri Lanka, was hired for a two-year tenure in March 2012. Last month he announced he would not seek to renew his contract after being criticized by former greats and interim chairman Najam Sethi.

The PCB said a committee including former stars Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad and Intikhab Alam would evaluate the applicants, with the decision to be finalized before next month’s Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

During Whatmore’s tenure Pakistan failed to win a Test series, losing to South Africa 3-0 in 2013 and Sri Lanka 1-0 in 2012, and drawing with Zimbabwe and South Africa 1-1 also in 2013.

But Whatmore said he was satisfied with the team’s showing — Pakistan won the Asia Cup in March 2012 and beat India 2-1 in a one-day series early in 2013.

“This victory (against Sri Lanka) will be ranked up there, the series win in India and one-day win in South Africa (2013) and the Asia Cup, are pretty decent to start with. When we arrived we were not given any chances in South Africa so there were some high points,” said Whatmore.

Englishman Julian Fountain was serving as fielding coach until the third Test against Sri Lanka in Sharjah, which Pakistan won by five wickets to level the three-match series 1-1 on Monday.

They chased down 302 in 57.3 overs to achieve a thrilling victory.

Despite Monday’s heroics, Pakistan are also in dire need of a batting coach to address their vulnerable line-up.

They were shot out for their lowest Test total of 49 during the 3-0 rout in South Africa last year.

Former players heap praise

Former Pakistan players Tuesday heaped praise on the national team for its thrilling run chase to grab an unlikely victory in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in Sharjah.

Pakistan, currently placed fifth in the Test rankings, chased down 302 in 57.3 overs in fading light on Monday to level the three-Test series, after losing the second Test in Dubai by nine wickets.

Azhar Ali notched up his fifth Test hundred with 103, captain Misbah-ul Haq hit an unbeaten 68 and Sarfraz Ahmed scored 48 as Pakistan achieved their second-best run chase, bettered only by their 314 against Australia in Karachi in 1994.

Former captain Aamir Sohail praised the batting.

“It was refreshing to see Pakistan chase down a tough target,” said Sohail. “The way Azhar played, Sarfraz helped him to set the tempo and then Misbah finished the game, it was nice and will help lift the team’s morale.”

Team manager Moin Khan said the plan was to go for the win in a Twenty20 style.

“We had that in mind to go for runs in the last Twenty20 overs and promoting Sarfraz helped,” Moin said on the team’s arrival.

“It was nice to see the positive intent and this win will go a long way in building the team.”

Another former captain, Rashid Latif, also praised Misbah.

“The kind of role Misbah has played is praiseworthy,” Latif told AFP. “As a batsman and as a captain he has been good. The way he used the new players was also appreciable and will help him build this team.”

Latif however criticized Sri Lanka’s response to the batting onslaught.

“Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews used negative tactics, placing his fielders on the boundary line, which went against him. You can’t win or save a Test by such tactics.”


 






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