Intikhab Alam is appointed the new coach of Pakistan, just a day after the sacking of his predecessor Geoff Lawson, the PCB confirm.
Pakistan replace Lawson with Alam
ISLAMABAD // Intikhab Alam was appointed as the new coach of Pakistan yesterday, a day after the sacking of Geoff Lawson. "We have appointed Intikhab [Alam] as the coach and he will accompany the team to Abu Dhabi for the three one-day internationals against West Indies," PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said. The decision comes in the wake of another about turn from the Pakistan Cricket Board. A couple of days ago the West Indies said they were keen on playing Pakistan in a two-Test series in Abu Dhabi, though Butt had denied that there was any proposal in the first place. Butt had also said that he intended to replace Lawson when his contract expires in April. Terming him "useless" - a claim he denied later - he said he could not sack him immediately owing to financial losses to the board and then went ahead and sacked him on Friday. Alam, who was the manager when Pakistan won the World Cup in 1992, has accepted the hot seat again and even went back on his travel plans to India where he was appointed as coach for the Punjab state and was awaiting visa formalities to be completed. "I have already communicated my decision to the PCA [Punjab Cricket Association]. I was to join as their coach on September 1 but due to abnormal delay in getting visa made me now to reject this offer". Incidentally, his visa also arrived on Friday. Alam will be given a two-year term in his fourth stint as coach. "My first assignment will be the ODI series against West Indies. I am focusing on this series now and by next week I shall invite all players to start with." Richard Pybus, the first foreign coach of Pakistan, said yesterday's events reminded him of his short experience in charge of the side in 1999. "There was a military coup 24 hours after I signed the contract and the cricket board changed overnight," he said. "We went to Australia and lost badly. Myself, Wasim Akram and the tour manager were removed. I had no opportunity to prepare the side, I wasn't even allowed to run the side until we arrived in Australia. "I was told I could either step down for 'personal reasons' or be sacked. I told them they would have to sack me. It was classic Pakistani cricket adminisration."