LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf has said the forthcoming limited-overs series against Australia is important and hopefully the national side will put up their best to earn positive results.
“The Australians are strong rivals but our team is also shaping up well and, Insha Allah, they will give a tough fight to the opposition,” said Zaka after unveiling the logo of the series at the National Cricket Academy here on Thursday.
The series comprising three One-day Internationals and three T20 matches, will start from Aug 28 and end on Sept 10. The ODI matches will start at 6:00pm PST while T20 games will commence at 8:00pm.
Thanking the sponsors of the Australia-Pakistan series, Bank Alfalah and Cool and Cool, Zaka said: “It gives me great pleasure to introduce the sponsors for the upcoming Pakistan vs Australia series being played in the UAE later this month. We appreciate the support that we are receiving from Pakistan’s corporate sector and thank them for their sincere efforts.”
To a question, Zaka said while batting of both Pakistan and under-19 teams could not click during the last tour of Sri Lanka and the ongoing World Cup respectively, there was no need to panic as national team’s head coach Dav Whatmore was taking care of that department.
Commenting on delay in naming of the bowling coach, he said the name would be finalised by Friday. Ex-Test pacer Aaqib Javed had left the post of national team’s bowling coach to join the UAE cricket board some six months back and the PCB coaches committee comprising former captains Intikhab Alam and Zaheer Abbas is searching for the right man for the job these days.
There are reports that the committee has finalised two names for the post, that of former Pakistan Test bowler Mohammad Akram and another one is Stuart Barnes of England.
On paper, Barnes is looking the stronger of the two candidates since he has worked with the ECB and with various English counties. He boasts a Level-IV coaching course degree while Akram is qualified with Level-III.
If Barnes gets selected for the post, he may not be able to join the national team for the upcoming series against Australia.
However, Akram is just waiting for a green signal to join the Pakistan team in the UAE.
Meanwhile, to a question, Zaka said though the start of Pakistan under-19 team in the World Cup was good as they defeated Australia in the warm-up matches, the team’s performance nosedived in the later games.
He added that after receiving the manager’s and the coach’s reports on the U-19 World Cup show, the PCB would take some steps to bring improvement in the performance of the junior players.
To a question regarding wicket-keeper Zulqarnain Haider’s recent allegations against Kamran Akmal, Zaka said his chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed would answer that question.
Subhan said the PCB had already served a notice to Zulqarnain, asking him to produce evidence before the anti-corruption committee of the board in support of his allegations till August 30.