Pakistan remain undecided on the appointment of Bob Woolmer's successor and have opted to make team manager Talat Ali as their coach for the next month's three-match one-day series against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.
A Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told The News that Talat, a former Test cricketer, has been given the additional duties till the time a new coach is appointed for the national team. Pakistani coach Woolmer was murdered in his team hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, last month and since then the team has been without a coach.
Pakistan on Wednesday appointed all-rounder Shoaib Malik as their new captain a day after naming a three-man national selection committee headed by former Test cricketer Salahuddin Ahmed. Now another important decision in the aftermath of Pakistan's humiliating World Cup exit is the appointment of a new coach. The board, however, has decided to take its time before naming a new coach.
Dr Ahsan Malik, PCB's media director, said that the board is keeping its options open and is considering both home-grown candidates as well coaches from the rest of the cricket-playing world for the assignment. "We want to make it sure that the best possible man gets this job because our team really needs the best coach at this point in time," he said.
Initially, PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf had announced that Pakistan would appoint a local coach but later said that the board was also considering foreign coaches for the job. Former Pakistan Test fast bowler Aaqib Javed leads the list of potential candidates that also includes another former Test cricketer Mudassar Nazar.
Talat, 56, who played ten Tests for Pakistan from 1972-79, would be at the helm of team affairs during the one-day series against Sri Lanka in neutral Abu Dhabi from May 10-15. He would also continue working as manager-cum-coach in a charity one-day game against India in England this summer.