x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

New Pakistan selector desires to step down

Ijaz Ahmed wants to pursue his passion of being fielding coach after his interim period has finished.

KARACHI // The Pakistan Cricket Board's appointee Ijaz Ahmed is unlikely to continue as a selector once the one-month interim term is over. Ahmed said: "I am more interested to be associated with the national team as their specialist coach in fielding. This was made clear to the new PCB chairman Ijaz Butt." Butt said: "I feel I can serve the game better by remaining on the field rather than watching players from the stands. The chairman had listened to my request, but insisted I accept the selector role for the time being."

Ahmed played 60 Tests and 250 ODIs, in which he held 45 and 90 catches respectively. "With Geoff Lawson as main bowling coach, I can assist the team in batting and fielding positions," he added. The previous selectors have resigned or been replaced by the new chairman, Salim Jaffer, Shoaib Mohammad and Ahmed. Meanwhile, Butt has climbed down from his comments on the coach Geoff Lawson saying they were his personal opinions.

Butt, who has been on a revamp spree, had lashed out at Lawson at a media conference earlier this week, saying he was "useless". Butt had also said the PCB would not renew Lawson's contract, which is due to expire in April next year. "As the PCB chairman I am duty bound to fully back Lawson and to take care of all his liabilities," Butt said. "What I said in the press conference was my personal opinion which I had also given to the former chairman Nasim Ashraf."

Ashraf had appointed Lawson on a two-year deal in August last year. Meanwhile, the former captains Imran Khan and Javed Miandad have defended Lawson, saying the Australian coach was n0t the only one responsible for the team's poor results. "How can you blame the coach for poor performances of the Pakistan team when your domestic structure is rotting," Imran said. "Don't expect miracles from the coach."

Pakistan have not played a Test match this year and have enjoyed mixed fortunes in one-day tournaments. * Agencies