The Pakistan Cricket Board has removed Intikhab Alam as the manager of the national cricket team for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe. Intikhab, who held the post of coach and then manager of the national team since October 2008, has been replaced by a member of the PCB governing board, Naveed Akram Cheema. PCB’s chief operating officer Subhan Ahmad insisted that the change was made according to standard regulations of the board.
“Changing the manager is not performance related. We appoint manager on series to series basis. Intikhab is also head of the development program at the National Cricket Academy and wants to devote more time to the ongoing programs,” Ahmad said.
“Cheema is a member of the governing board, so he has been appointed manager for the Zimbabwe series,” the official added. Cheema is also managing director WAPDA – and had also accompanied Pakistan ‘A’ team to the West Indies last year. It was on Intikhab’s West Indies tour report that the PCB removed all-rounder Shahid Afridi as the captain of the Pakistan one-day team in May. Intikhab and coach Waqar Younis had described Afridi’s performance as the skipper as poor and the former also held him responsible for the defeats that Pakistan suffered in the last two one-day internationals against the West Indies. Pakistan won the five-match ODI series against the West Indies 3-2.
Interestingly, Afridi, who had announced his retirement from international cricket, has always maintained that he could once again consider playing for Pakistan if changes are made at the team management level. The sources, however, said that Intikhab’s removal could be for just one series and there are also no immediate plans to change the coaching staff.