x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Waqar is ready to take on the challenge of coaching Pakistan

Waqar Younis is on the verge of accepting the challenge of reviving Pakistan cricket after being offered the position of coach.

Waqar Younis is on the verge of accepting the challenge of reviving Pakistan cricket after being offered the position of coach. The former fast bowler, who played 87 Tests and 262 one-day internationals for his country, is the Pakistan Cricket Board's top choice to replace Intikhab Alam, who was released early from a two-year contract after a dreadful run of results. "I have received a proper offer from the Pakistan board and I am ready to take on this challenge," said Waqar.

"I see this job as a big challenge as Pakistan cricket has great talent and potential to deliver top results against all teams." Meanwhile, Alastair Cook, the stand-in England captain, is looking forward to building his relationship with the team director, Andy Flower, during the side's tour of Bangladesh, which begins today with the first one-day international in Dhaka Cook is leading his country on tour for the first time after the regular captain, Andrew Strauss, decided to opt out of the trip in a bid to avoid burn out.

Although Cook has a long-standing association with Flower, going back to their shared playing days at Essex, he is hoping to build a new understanding with the Zimbabwean. "I've known Andy since I was 18, I've grown up all my playing days with him and when I came into the England team he was assistant coach," said Cook. "He's fantastic, a true thinker of the game and it's a pleasure to work with him. We're making strides on building that relationship as captain and coach."

Cook led the side to two convincing wins in warm-up matches in midweek but admits that there is still a big sense of occasion around his first ODI in charge of the team. "The first international is a different thing," he said. "There's a bit more pressure riding on it." Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, is hoping for a better showing from his men against Australia in their second Twenty20 game in Christchurch today.

Australia won the first game in Wellington on Friday comfortably by six wickets, and Vettori said: "Getting through the first six overs none down, that would be fantastic. And if we can restrict them with the ball it's our best chance of winning." The West Indies and Zimbabwe are also in action today as they play a Twenty20 game in Port of Spain, Trinidad * With agencies