Waqar calls for a quick decision on spot-fixing allegations

Karachi: The coach of the Pakistan cricket team Waqar Younis on Friday called for a quick decision on the spot-fixing allegations surrounding some leading Pakistani cricketers.

The former Test captain said on Friday that he would like to have a clear picture as far as the availability of players were concerned for the 2011 World Cup.

“We need a clear picture so that whoever is eligible to play for Pakistan can then just focus on the job ahead,” Waqar said.

He also added that the spot-fixing allegations surrounding Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif were a distraction to the World Cup preparations.

Other senior players like Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Rana Naved and Danish Kaneria are also in doubt for the World Cup with reports suggesting that ICC has not yet given the Pakistan Cricket Board clearance to consider them for the World Cup selection.

But Waqar refused to agree with former captain Imran Khan’s assessment that Pakistan required the services of Amir and Asif in the World Cup.

“I hope they are available but in cricket no one is irreplaceable. Players come and go and that is the way the sport goes on. We have a lot of talent in Pakistan cricket and even if these players are not available it will not affect our World Cup preparations or campaign,” he said.

The former fast bowler said that he had lot of confidence in the available lot of players and also didn’t agree with one-day captain Shahid Afridi’s views that Pakistan’s World Cup preparations were not on track.

“No, I think our preparations are going well and we should be well prepared for the mega event. I think this tour to New Zealand will be very important in our preparations for the World Cup as it will allow us to settle on a combination for the mega tournament,” he said.

Waqar also supported the PCB’s decision to induct former captain Javed Miandad into the training camp in Lahore to work with the batsmen.

“I think Miandad’s greatness as a player is undisputed and his presence will help the players a lot. He can help us prepare for the New Zealand tour very well.”

Miandad has announced that although he is working as batting consultant in the national camp he will not accompany the team to New Zealand as he does not want a clash of personalities between him and the head coach Waqar Younis.

Miandad said at a press conference that he didn’t believe that having too many people calling the shots would help the team. “That is why I have decided not to go to New Zealand. Waqar is very respectful but I think he should have a free hand to do what he wants to do in New Zealand.”