Karachi: New manager of troubled Pakistan cricket team Intikhab Alam is confident that his adverse comments on the players after the shambolic Australian tour early this year would not affect his relationship with them.
“Whatever I said then it was for the betterment of the team and I didn’t mean ill towards anyone. I think the players know that and I don’t think it will affect my relationship with them in my new role as manager,” Alam said.
Alam was assigned the national duty last evening as Yawar Saeed had stepped down after a turbulent England tour. The PCB had removed him as coach after the Australian tour.
Alam had told an inquiry committee then formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board to probe into the poor performances in Australia.
He also said most of the Pakistan players were uneducated and not so well groomed and their mental level “was not very high”, which caused problems for the team management.
The inquiry committee eventually recommended bans and fines on seven players for indiscipline and misconduct on the tour.
Alam said his main priority as manager would be to ensure no further damage is done to the image of Pakistan cricket and the team stays away from controversies.
“Focus on discipline and advising the players on how to just focus on cricket will be my main job,” he said.
“I know that in the current situation, given the controversies Pakistan cricket has faced in recent times it will not be an easy job but since I have accepted the challenge, I am confident I can deliver as manager.”
Explaining how he would deal with the players, Alam said they were not schoolboys and no one should expect him to treat them like school kids. “I would like to have a good working and friendly relationship with them. I don’t wan’t to interfere in cricket matters as that’s not my
domain now. But yes, if and when required, the board has told me not to tolerate indiscipline.”
The new team manager for the upcoming ODI and T20 series against South Africa in UAE said he would enjoy working with the national team coach, Waqar Younis as both had enjoyed a good understanding in Australia when he (Alam) was coach and the pacer was the bowling coach.
“I know him well and I know (assistant coach) Aaqib Javed well as well. I worked with them before and we have a good understanding.”