Greg Chappell, the former India coach, yesterday said he had turned down the chance to train Pakistan. "I was honoured and flattered by the approach but I have declined the invitation," the former Australia captain told Cricinfo. "I have no ambition to coach at the international level again and I am committed to my role with Cricket Australia as head coach at the Centre of Excellence and chairman of our National Youth Selection Panel."
Pakistan have named former batsman Ijaz Ahmed as coach in place of Intikhab Alam for two Twenty20 internationals against England in Dubai later this month. Alam was appointed for two years in October 2008, but the Chappell approach indicated the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) were seeking a new coach for the series against England and Australia. Meanwhile, Mohammad Yousuf, the Pakistan captain, has said there is one player on the national team who is disrupting team unity, but stopped short of naming him.
"There's no doubt that there's only one player who is spoiling the atmosphere of the dressing room," Yousuf told Geo TV on Tuesday, before adding that he would only reveal the name to PCB chairman Ijaz Butt. "I remember in one meeting in Australia we all three [coach, manager and captain] agreed that this player is disturbing the team unity," Yousuf said. The player in question will be scrutinised as part of a PCB inquiry - headed by Wasim Bari, the chief operating officer - into how the team lost every game in their Test and ODI tour of Australia.
The committee will start their work from tomorrow and meet with Yousuf, Alam and Abdul Raqeeb, the manager. Yousuf accepted the captaincy for the series against New Zealand and Australia after Younus Khan stepped down due to poor form when Pakistan lost a one-day series to New Zealand in the Emirates last year. "I was made captain for the world's toughest series against Australia," he said. "I don't have natural leadership qualities in me but I have tried hard to do a good job. "It is unfair to compare me with [Australia captain] Ricky Ponting as far as captaincy is concerned because he is far more experienced."
In other news, Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan captain and wicketkeeper, has called for a quota system to boost the number of national team players from smaller cities. "Pakistan is a big country of over 160 million people, but we mostly see players from Karachi and Lahore wearing the green cap," Latif said yesterday. "I know these cities have thousands of talented players, but why are we neglecting rest of the country? The PCB can give Lahore and Karachi 70 per cent of representation in the national team, but please look out for 30 per cent from smaller cities."
Latif was at pains to explain the team's poor showing in Australia. "We have witnessed many captains and chairmen in the past 10 years but the performance has not improved," he said. * With agencies