Former Test and T20 skipper Shahid Afridi has lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for assigning key roles to former players, saying that it is good to see the cricketers running the show.
Afridi, who scored 1,716 runs in 27 Tests, was of the view that PCB had given key roles to former cricketers including Misbah ul Haq (Head coach & chief selector), Waqar Younis (bowling coach), Younis Khan (batting coach), Mushtaq Ahmed (spin bowling coach & mentor), Saqlain Mushtaq (PCB Head of Player Development) and Nadeem Khan (Director High Performance Center Nadeem Khan) which was good for Pakistan cricket.
“This is a show of cricketers and it is better if its run by them,” said Afridi. “All are sincere people and have great individual performances when it comes to cricket or coaching.”
However, the flamboyant all-rounder, who had scored 8,064 runs in 398 ODIs, advised everyone to work in their domain as things get easy this way. “When there are too many big names at one place, then there are authority issues, especially if the team loses a game or a series. So everyone should take the team along as a unit,” he said.
Speaking about the appointment of Younis Khan, Afridi said it was a very good decision on part of PCB. “I am personally very happy on the decision as Younis is a very hard working and experienced person. He has performed well in England which matters a lot,” he said.
Former captain Ramiz Raja believes that the newly-appointed batting coach Younis Khan is capable of providing Pakistan team a better cricket-centric environment but for that he will have to control his mood swings.
“He can improve cricket focus during the England trip. This is a difficult trip where along with playing cricket there will be a need to understand and learn things. And Younis can play a key role in this respect,” Ramiz said on Wednesday.
“Younis Khan is a no-nonsense kind of a character. He is a hard worker and a dedicated individual. His career figures are outstanding. He has also an excellent record in England and that will matter.”
He said Younis always scored for Pakistan in tough conditions and there were several players in the current Pakistan team, who either considered him as their hero or had been playing with him. “He also has a very good bond with head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and probably it is also due to that reason that he [Misbah] has been keen to involve him,” observed Ramiz.
But the cricketer-turned commentator said the batting great would have to plug in his grey areas to become a successful coach. “When I say that he is a no-nonsense kind of a character, he can be temperamental too because once or twice [in the past] he was about to sign for some slot [in PCB] but he did not do that as he did not like some clauses [of the contract]. His moods keep on swinging. But now, he should not do anything of that sort as he is starting a new career. When you are a player you have different sort of challenges and demands but when you become a coach you start the work from behind the desk.”
“As a coach you provide service and if your temperament is not under control you will not be successful. Half of the coaching comprises man-managed skills; it means to know and understand people; it requires patience,” said Ramiz in his candid comments.
Former Test cricketer Basit Ali has asked the Pakistan batsmen to take benefit from Younis’s expertise during the England tour by learning the art of scoring big hundreds.
“As a batsmen he has an excellent career. He knew the art of building innings and scoring big runs,” said Basit. “Look at his performances, 34 Test centuries and 33 half centuries.”
He said Pakistan Cricket Boards decision to appoint Younis as batting coach was a fine move. “This is a very good decision by the board. But I think we should not expect immediate improvement in batsmen’s performance. It is not easy for any visiting side to perform well in England,” said Basit.
He said Younis would need at least six months to remove batsmen’s weaknesses and hone their skills.