Pakistan coach rubbishes reports of sacking


Karachi: Pakistan cricket coach Intikhab Alam Monday rubbished reports of his sacking and being replaced by newly appointed bowling and fielding coach Waqar Younis.

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Intikhab, a former Pakistan captain who took over as coach last year, said he instead is focussing on the upcoming tour of Australia next week.

“I’m very much my team’s coach and will be on that plane for Australia (next week),” said Intikhab, who is currently in Napier where Pakistan is playing its third and final Test against New Zealand.

“I have a two-year contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and am looking forward to completing the tenure.” Intikhab’s tenure ends next October.

There have been reports that the PCB want to replace Intikhab with Waqar, a former Pakistan Test pacer who was roped in earlier this month.

Some reports have suggested that Waqar will get a higher salary than Intikhab which has added fuel to speculations that he is set to replace Intikhab soon after the Napier Test which ends Tuesday.

Waqar could end up earning more than Intikhab, if the team and bowlers do well during his tenure. Intikhab is presently drawing a salary of around Rs.500,000, while Waqar would get a retainer of Rs.300,000 plus other bonuses which could total up to more than his retainer.

Meanwhile, PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said Waqar has just been appointed for one series — against Australia — and that the former Pakistan captain will be given a long-term contract if his charges show improvement during the tour Down Under.

Pakistan is to play three Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 game against Australia. The tour will begin from Dec 17 with the first test taking place in Melbourne from Dec 26. Waqar is based in Australia and will begin his stint with a three-day warm-up match against Tasmania in Hobart from Dec 19.