x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Waqar Younis to quit as Pakistan coach

Waqar Younis will step down fromhis role as Pakistan coach following their tour of Zimbabwe

Waqar Younis, the Pakistan coach, yesterday announced he will quit his role after the team's forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe for personal reasons, dealing another setback to a troubled team that has been riven by in-fighting and corruption.

"I have tendered my resignation … and the tour to Zimbabwe will be my last," he told a press conference ahead of this month's tour.

Waqar, 39, has been at the helm for less than 18 months.

He took over as coach in March 2010 and has faced controversies including the spot-fixing scandal that led to lengthy bans for three cricketers, and differences with former one-day captain Shahid Afridi.

But he denied that those issues had led to his decision to step down.

"I have taken this decision on personal grounds, including medical grounds, and have no differences with anyone. My resignation has been accepted by the Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB]," Waqar said.

Pakistan will play one practice game, one Test, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches on the tour of Zimbabwe, which starts one week from today.

Under Waqar, Pakistan qualified for the semi-final of the World Cup this year before losing to eventual champions India.

"It was a roller coaster for me, with a lot of controversies including the spot-fixing scandal, but I am proud of the fact that all these young boys have carried on the good work despite these problems," Waqar said.

His first two Test series as coach - against Australia and England, both played in England last year - saw Test captain Salman Butt and key pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer caught up in the spot-fixing scandal.

The corruption claims over the Test against England at Lord's in August resulted in lengthy bans for Butt, Asif and Aamer, and the trio also faces criminal proceedings in England.

Waqar said the players had been surprised by his decision.

"They were shocked because until today the matter was between me and the PCB, but I am sure that this young team will do well in future," he said.

PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said, "The PCB has accepted his resignation and understands his personal reasons. His tenure was good and we wish him the best in his future."

* Agence France-Presse