Pakistan cricket has a naughty child reputation: Ian Pont

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Quetta Gladiators’ bowling coach Ian Pont, who has applied for the vacant head coach position for Pakistan’s national team after Waqar Younis’ resignation, believes Pakistan cricket team has developed a reputation of a ‘naughty child’ who never fails to attract attention.

“Gone are the days when great players came through by accident,” wrote Pont. “And if a country relies upon discovering great players rather than producing them, they will not have long lasting success. This perhaps is why Pakistan Cricket appears to act with the reputation of a naughty child — sometimes brilliant, often frustrating, never boring but always unpredictable,” he said.

The 54-year-old said whoever the new coach may be, he will have to face a big challenge to meet the expectations of everyone.

“The challenge for the new head coach will be enormous,” he wrote. “Expectations from the fans, media, board, stakeholders and not least the players, make the appointment a particularly difficult one.”

Pont also believes that subcontinent cricketers are different from players across the world.

“Working with subcontinent players is a unique proposition,” explained Pont. “No amount of job experience can prepare you for it. Understanding the psyche of the players, their fears, failings and rationale, is a vital component of being successful. Getting them to buy in to a new ‘fearless’ approach to their cricket, where learning is derived from their mistakes where it is actually OK to fail, will be one of the biggest challenges.”

The Englishman proposed certain characteristics the new Pakistan head coach must have to ensure success.

“It may require someone with vision and passion to be creative, rather than someone who just follows a formula,” he wrote. “It may require someone who is firm but not overbearing, fun but not flippant, strong-willed but not inflexible. A man with a plan, but encourages players to take responsibility and helps them understand what is best for them. The coach needs to be able to understand how to mentor, but how to instruct too. He will also need to be an excellent man-manager.”

“Basically, it may require a new maverick [like Bob Woolmer]. The problem is mavericks are a bit thin on the ground right now,” Pont concluded.