Karachi: Pakistan's former captain Zaheer Abbas is delighted at resumption of bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan and expressed wish to see a full Test series between the two countries. Speaking ahead of Pakistan's upcoming tour to India, Zaheer said, "I would love to see both countries play a full Test series but I am sure even through this tour there will be a lot of a goodwill created between the two countries."
Pakistan are scheduled to play two Twenty20 Internationals and three One-Day Internationals in India, the first bilateral series between the sides since November-December 2007. He felt the media in both countries had a big role to play in ensuring that such series were held on regular basis. Zaheer also confirmed that he had formally applied for the position of the national team batting coach.
Ranked among the top five batsmen produced by Pakistan, Zaheer said he had decided to apply for the post after the team's disappointing performance. "The batting has not been up to mark and I felt this was the right time for me to get involved and offer my services," he said. Zaheer, who earned the sobriquet of 'Asian Bradman' for his scoring feats in Tests and first-class cricket, said he had also informed the PCB chairman about his interest.
The former captain is a member of the PCB coaching committee that will recommend names of the top candidates to the board for the appointment of batting coach. The committee is due to meet this weekend to go through the list of local and foreign candidates who have applied for the position. Zaheer said he had informed the board that he was ready to step down from the committee so that other members could take an independent decision.
Zaheer pointed out that he was concerned with the batting because every team in world cricket depended on its batting to win matches these days. "Our batting has not been up to the mark consistently and I want to work with them to bring about this consistency and hunger for runs." Reminded that he was on the coaching committee that had recommended the name of Australian Dav Whatmore for the post of head coach, Zaheer admitted the foreigner had not been that successful as expected.
"Yes, perhaps, Whatmore has not been as successful till now as we all felt he would be given his impressive credentials. In fact this applies to the coaches hired. But we took a decision that we thought was best for Pakistan cricket," Zaheer added. Asked if he felt the committee had been unfair with Mohsin Khan who was replaced by Whatmore last March even though he had led Pakistan to a 3-0 whitewash over England, Zaheer said Mohsin had proved his credentials as coach.
"I had advised him to just keep quiet and let things happen but he felt otherwise," he added.