x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Nazar choice a little late

Timing is everything in cricket. As such, the Emirates Cricket Board's (ECB) announcement of Mudassar Nazar as the No 1 choice to be their new head coach this week was a little bit out.

Timing is everything in cricket. As such, the Emirates Cricket Board's (ECB) announcement of Mudassar Nazar as the No 1 choice to be their new head coach this week was a little bit out. It resembled a batsman shaping up to boom a drive through extra-cover for four, but mistiming it, and skewing an inside-edge down to fine leg for a single instead. Nazar would be a perfect fit. No-one else is able to boast such a luminous CV as the former Pakistan captain and coach, as well as such an intimate knowledge of the machinations of the game in this country.

UAE cricket has grown up with him. He played in the first match of any note here, when a matting wicket was laid down at a football pitch in Sharjah in 1975 for a game involving his Pakistan International Airlines team. Nearly 30 years later, he relocated full-time when he joined the staff of the ICC's Global Cricket Academy in Dubai Sports City. He has been in that role for two years. Much of that time has been frustrating for him and his fellow coaches, the similarly pedigreed Dayle Hadlee and Rod Marsh.

A string of problems have prevented them from actually getting into their new premises, which include attractive academy ovals and a Hawkeye-equipped indoor school. However, they have their fingers crossed that they will finally be able to move in next month. Now that Nazar is about to finally get properly started on the job he signed up for, the ECB hope to whisk him away to take charge of their national team.

If he is willing to make the switch, or even dovetail the two jobs, all well and good. But why did the powers-that-be not think of it sooner? @Email:pradley@thenational.ae