Want to earn same respect as coach as I did as a player: Waqar

Karachi: Pakistan’s national team coach Waqar Younis is keen to emulate his achievements as a player in his new coaching role.

“I want to earn the same respect and adulation as the national coach as I earned as a player while representing the country,” Waqar told Geo Super channel.

“I am someone who is trying to give the same commitment and responsibility to the team as coach like I did as player,” the former Test captain and fast bowler said.

Waqar, who was named head coach of the team in place of Intikhab Alam this year after a disastrous tour of Australia, was also confident that the present Pakistani team was capable of surprising everyone and silencing the critics in the upcoming tour of New Zealand and in the 2011 World Cup.

“There is talk about the team being without some of its leading and senior players and how it will impact our performance in the World Cup. People forget that when Imran Khan led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup, young players in that team played a pivotal role in the success and went on to become star performers for Pakistan.

“I see my job as a platform for providing exposure and the perfect conditions for youngsters to come into international cricket and to remain there,” he added.

Waqar said he was a great believer in young talent and had done his best to adjust them into the team properly.

“Whatever experience I have I am trying my best to ensure that the players benefit from it. Human beings make mistakes and I am also prone to mistakes. But at the end of the day just how committed you are to you responsibility is what matters the most. The rest God is there to reward you,” said Waqar.

The former captain felt that his biggest challenge at the moment was to ensure that there were minimum fitness issues with the team going into the World Cup.

“The players also have a responsibility to ensure they maintain their fitness for the World Cup while also performing well on the tour of New Zealand,” he said, adding that Misbah-ul-Haq, Wahab Riaz and Khurrum Manzoor have minor fitness issues but they were not of serious nature.

Waqar also said that the induction of Javed Miandad in the national camp had helped remove some of the issues with the technique of the batsmen. “Our bowling line up is a good one but the batsmen will have to also deliver consistently in New Zealand.”