Karachi: Zaka Ashraf, whose election as Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman has been set aside by Islamabad High Court, has refused to accept the responsibility for appointing Dav Whatmore as head coach but conceded that the Australian had failed to live up to expectations.
Ashraf whose election as PCB head in May was declared null and void by the Islamabad High Court sought to pass the responsibility of Whatmore's appointment onto the coaching committee of the Board.
"Yes, I appointed Whatmore as head coach but on the recommendations of a committee comprising cricket experts like Intikhab Alam, Zaheer Abbas and keeping his past performances with the Sri Lankan and Bangladesh teams in mind," Ashraf was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.
"I did not appoint the committee as it was made by my predecessor, Ijaz Butt. I told them to find out the best for Pakistan. I think the PCB should sit down with Whatmore to find out the reasons why the performance of the coach is not matching his previous record," he said.
The former PCB chief has come in for some criticism for opting to appoint Whatmore in March last year at a time when former Test player Mohsin Khan had led Pakistan to a Test series whitewash over England in the UAE. Ashraf said he took the decision to appoint Whatmore because he could not challenge the expertise of the coaching committee.
"But I admit that his (Whatmore's) performances should have been impressive if he was that good a coach," he added. Ashraf also denied that he meddled in cricketing issues and insisted he had formed a cricket committee including Javed Miandad, Intikhab and Zaheer to look after this department and suggest ways to improve domestic cricket.
"I wanted to stay away from the technical issues," he stated. Whatmore has been criticised by former players for failing to deliver with the national team and former chief selector Iqbal Qasim last week described him as useless.
The former PCB chief also blasted the ICC for not taking more punitive action against South African Faf Du Plessis for his ball tampering act during the second Test against Pakistan. Plessis was handed a 50 per cent fine of his match fees by match referee David Boon after admitting he had tampered with the ball.
The ICC has rejected a letter from the PCB for a stronger punishment and defended Boon's decision. "Since the ICC has not penalized Plessis heavily no one knows how many players will attempt this unlawful act in future," he Ashraf said.