`World Cup Preparation reason behind appointing foreign coach`

Lahore: PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf said the main reason behind the board`s decision to appoint a foreign coach with the national team was making the side strong enough to win the next World Cup.

Ashraf told reporters in Lahore that the board wanted a totally professional coaching and support staff with the team because at the end of the day Pakistan`s major ambition was to win the 2015 World Cup.

His remarks came after the arrival of Australian Dav Whatmore in the city for talks which will eventually lead to his appointment as head coach of the national team.

Although the board and Ashraf again insisted that Whatmore`s appointment was not final but sources have said he is the next head coach of the national team.

Whatmore, who is staying at the national cricket academy, has held a detailed discussion with the head of the PCB coaching committee Intikhab Alam and is due to meet with the Chairman and chief operating officer of the board today or on Monday.

He will return to Australia on Tuesday and sources said the purpose of his visit is to finalise terms and conditions of his contract including the powers that will be given to him, his pay package and most importantly the support staff he will work with.

Pakistan in the past has tried out three other foreign coaches, Richard Pybus, Bob Woolmer and Geoff Lawson with none of them able to create any notable revolution in Pakistan cricket.

But Ashraf told reporters that he had heard Whatmore was a hard task master and committed to his job.

"He picked up a ordinary team like Sri Lanka and made them world champions so definitely he has some qualities."

"The PCB also wants that we have a team capable of winning the next World Cup and being among the top two nations. Someone who can tap the immense potential we have in our cricket," he added.

Asked about the performance of interim coach Mohsin Khan, who has led Pakistan to series wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and is now preparing for the series against England, Ashraf said while he had done a commendable job and the board wanted to also see Pakistan win against England but the board could not take decisions on coaching on basis of one or two series.

He insisted that Pakistan as a cricket nation needed to be more professional and consistent.

Sources have said that Whatmore in his meeting with Intikhab was adamant that he could not meet the targets given to him by the board until he was given absolute powers including in selection matters.

There has been a mixed reaction to the expected appointment of Whatmore as head coach who is likely to take over from the Asia Cup in March.

While some former players have slammed the board for not depending on local coaches and going for a coach with a past record of problems with the Sri Lankan and Bangladesh players and officials, others have welcomed the move saying he will bring the needed amount of professionalism in the team.


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