Less officials, the better


*Mushtaq, Shahid likely to be axed as team officials

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to reduce the number of national team’s officials.

As the first step, services of two officials — spin-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmad and assistant coach Shahid Aslam — are most likely to be terminated and they will be asked to work at the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

According to reliable sources, the PCB came to the decision following chairman Shaharyar Khan’s separate meetings with head coach Waqar Younis, captain Misbah-ul-Haq and the most powerful person of the team management Moin Khan after Pakistan team’s dismal tour to Sri Lanka.

The Islanders whitewashed Pakistan in the two Test series and earned 2-1 victory in the three One-day International match series.

The sources said that two foreign coaches Grant Flower (batting) and Grant Luden (fielding), and other staff of the team management would not be replaced in the first phase.

Head coach Waqar Younis was a Test fast bowler himself so there is no need for a spin-bowling coach in his presence.

“It is better to take advantage from Mushtaq’s experience, therefore, his services will be utilised at the NCA to coach spinners, especially those who have suspect bowling action because of which off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is facing serious threat to his international career,” the sources said.

“Shahid Aslam is the manager of coach education at the NCA and it is better to work there instead of assisting Waqar, who has services of batting and fielding coaches,” the sources added.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that there is no immediate plan of Shaharyar to reduce the burden over Moin Khan, who is currently doing dual jobs as manager of the national team and chief selector.

Ironically, almost all the six members of the selection committee do not have proper time to watch domestic cricket matches.

Saleem Yousuf and Shoaib Mohammad are employees of Customs and PIA respectively so they cannot watch all domestic matches keenly.

Two other members of the committee are Mohammad Akram and former Test cricketer Ijaz Ahmad who belong to the NCA.

The sixth one is former Test cricketer Wajahatullah Wasti who is an employee of a bank.

“A review of national selection committee affairs is also necessary to make it more productive but no decision is taken at this stage,” the sources said.

Moreover, the sources said Moin in his meeting with Shaharyar expressed his surprise over the erratic performance of Misbah but he backed him as captain because it was his first dismal show in any series.

“Since leading the national team from 2010, Misbah has played a leading role as a middle-order batsman to win and save several matches for Pakistan despite the fact he had been under great pressure for his slow [but responsible] batting style.

“His performance faced considerable decline in the last series but just one bad show is not enough to change him as captain,” the sources said.

“The next year’s World Cup is fast approaching besides series against Australia and New Zealand are also around the corner so it will not be wise to change the skipper at this time,” the sources concluded.