Pakistan’s cricket chiefs on Friday defended their decision to appoint fast bowling legend Waqar Younis as head coach, after former interim coach Mohsin Khan lashed out at the decision.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had on Tuesday handed Younis a two-year contract for a second stint in the top job—without interviewing the other six applicants, including Khan. Khan hit out at the PCB on Thursday, saying he was a “deserving candidate,” and he is now likely to challenge the appointment in court.
But PCB chiefs said the board had agreed that Younis was “better suited to take the team forward.” The 42-year-old played 87 Tests and 262 one-day internationals for Pakistan and held the job of national team coach from February 2010 to September 2011.
“Waqar has regularly been associated with Pakistan cricket and commentating on the game as well,” PCB management committee member Zaheer Abbas told a press conference. “The PCB thought that Waqar was better suited to take the team forward,” he said.
He added that Khan’s strengths and weaknesses, like Younis’s, were already well known to cricket chiefs. “As a procedure we usually interview candidates about whom we have no or little information. But Khan’s case was different—he is quite familiar to us and we are aware of his strengths and weaknesses,” he said.
As temporary coach, Khan guided Pakistan to a 3-0 rout of then number one England in 2012 before he was replaced by Australian coach Dav Whatmore.
PCB director Intikhab Alam said Khan had the right to take his case to the court. “It is everyone’s right to take a matter to court—so if Khan wants to take it to court, it is his right. But the PCB will not be taking this matter to court,” he told reporters.
Younis’s first assignment will be a two Test and three one-day series in Sri Lanka in July-August this year. Pakistan also plays full series against Australia and New Zealand in United Arab Emirates from October to December.