Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has been roped in as a batting consultant of the national cricket team for the upcoming tours of India and Pakistan. The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Zaka Ashraf told reporters that since a decision is yet to be taken on who will be the permanent batting coach of Pakistan, Inzamam had been persuaded to share his experience and skills as a consultant.
"Inzamam will be working with the players, giving them tips and motivating them in the conditioning camps we are having for the series in India and then for the tour of South Africa," Ashraf said. He also added that given Inzamam's standing in Pakistan cricket and his track record his presence should be a big motivating factor for the players as they prepare for the tour to India.
Inzamam, who played 129 Tests and 388 One-day Internationals before retiring in 2007, has also expressed his interest in working as a batting coach but Ashraf clarified that the former skipper would not be accompanying the team abroad but would only work with the players in the camps. He said the board had received some very good CVs for the position of batting coach and those were under consideration.
"We have taken no decision on whether to appoint a foreign or local batting coach," Ashraf said. Pakistan's former batting greats like Inzamam, Zaheer Abbas and Salim Malik have all shown interest in the job apparently placing the board in an uncomfortable position as neither have done any coaching courses but their position in Pakistan cricket makes it difficult for the PCB to reject them.
Speaking about the Indian series, Ashraf said that the delegation that had gone to India for a inspection tour of the venues had come back satisfied. "It should be a smooth tour with no security concerns and hopefully the matches will produce some very good cricket as everyone is looking forward to this first bilateral series between the two countries in five years," said Ashraf. Ashraf shot down a question about the omission of prominent allrounder, Shahid Afridi for the one-day series in India.
"The teams for the T20 and ODIs have been picked on merit and performances by the national selectors. To me every player in the team is a Shahid Afridi. I also personally enjoy his cricket but the selectors did what they felt was necessary to select a balanced and strong outfit." Ashraf also said that the board would be sending several VIP guests including former players, ministers, political party heads to India as the series was significant in many ways.