Unfortunate that Younis left at the stroke of a big tour, Waqar regrets

Published July 5, 2021
Waqar Younis addressing a virtual press conference from England. – DawnNewsTV screengrab
Waqar Younis addressing a virtual press conference from England. – DawnNewsTV screengrab

Pakistan men's cricket team bowling coach Waqar Younis regretted on Monday that former captain Younis Khan had stepped down as the batting coach of the team just days before the England tour.

Addressing a virtual press conference from the United Kingdom, where Pakistan will be playing three One-day Internationals and as many Twenty20 International (T20I)against England, Waqar said, "It's unfortunate (Younis Khan stepping down as the batting coach) at the stroke of [a] big tour. It has happened, but this shouldn't have happened."

Last month, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had issued a statement announcing that the board and Younis had mutually agreed to part ways.

Commenting on the development, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan had said it was sad to lose an expert of Younis' stature and experience.

"Following a series of discussions, we both have reluctantly but mutually and amicably agreed that it was time to move in different directions.

“I want to thank Younis for his contributions during his short stint as the men’s national cricket team’s batting coach and hope he will remain available to assist the PCB by sharing his vast knowledge with the emerging cricketers," he had said.

The statement by the PCB had further stated that "Pakistan men’s national cricket team will travel to the United Kingdom without a batting coach, while the decision to appoint Younis Khan’s replacement for the West Indies tour will be made in due course."

Commenting on the matter, Waqar said the PCB and Younis both had given explanations on their differences.

The bowling coach added that "Younis was a great help... [and] his work ethic has always been good."

To a question about allrounder Haris Sohail frequently getting unfit during international tours, Waqar replied that that, too, was unfortunate.

"Otherwise we all know that he is a good talent."

When asked about weather conditions in England, Waqar said the team was unlucky as weather conditions were not ideal for practice. However, he added, the bowlers were responding well and the team practiced for the upcoming matches whenever they got an opportunity.

Particularly naming Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali, he said he was pleased with the bowlers' performance.

Asked about his expectations from bowlers during the T20 world cup, he replied it was necessary for players to be in form to be able to perform well in the T20 format.

Waqar pointed out that Pakistani players had recently played the Pakistan Super League in the United Arab Emirates and had an idea of pitches there.

"Therefore, I expect both, the fast bowlers and spinners, to perform well there [in the T20 World Cup in UAE]," he said.

When pointed out that it was probably the first time that no Pakistani bowler was among the top bowlers in international rankings in all three formats of cricket, he said the rankings were of little relevance if the Pakistani team continued to win matches.

With regards to planning for the series against England, he said, "We are keeping a close eye [on the game of English players] ... and the plans we will devise will come good."

Waqar was also asked to share his views on reports of PCB chief executive Wasim Khan visiting fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who retired from international cricket last year.

He said he was not aware of the development until the media reported it, adding that it was the PCB head's prerogative whether to visit Amir or not.

"But if Amir doesn't want to play or take back his retirement ... or impress the selectors, then it's hard. You have to do the right things to play for your country," remarked Waqar.

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