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By Saj Sadiq
Mohsin Khan was the Pakistan national team’s interim head coach for five months before being replaced by Dav Whatmore in March 2012. He enjoyed considerable success during his short tenure, including Test series victories against Sri Lanka and a 3-0 whitewash of the then No 1 ranked side England, leading many to question the decision to not extend his term. However, two years down the line and with Whatmore due to exit his post this month, Khan has once again emerged as a possible contender for the position.
In an exclusive, Khan discussed his credentials for the head coach position, citing his passion and previous record as the key advantage he holds over other candidates.
His passion was evident during his time as coach and the former Pakistan opener, who played 48 Tests and 75 One-Day Internationals (ODIs), has lost none of the drive that has seen him continue his involvement with Pakistani cricket in the near-30 years since retiring as a player.
“I’ve given the vacancy of head coach a lot of thought and after much deliberation, I’m ready to apply for the role. The fact is that I’ve always served my country with dignity and pride in whatever role I have been asked to do. My sole intention is always for the betterment of Pakistan cricket whether that be as a player, coach, selector or in any other capacity.”
In recent times, coaching a notoriously factious Pakistan team has made many wary of taking the position. However, Khan was confident that he has the respect of the players and the skills to get the best out those who will play under his tutelage.
“My record as coach speaks for itself and the Test series in which we whitewashed England was no fluke. That was a result of fantastic teamwork, support from the players and a fantastic spirit throughout the squad. I had the full backing of the players and it was a great experience knowing that the country’s best cricketers are firmly behind you.”
Khan also felt the current side, the nucleus of which remains since his time as interim coach, needs to rekindle the spirit which brought them success during that series.
“I feel that team spirit has been lacking somewhat of late, and if given the opportunity to coach the Pakistan team I’m sure I can instil that same spirit and hunger once again into the players. Pakistan’s cricketers are a unique bunch and it’s not always easy to get the best out of them. You have to have the knack of knowing how to motivate the players and to make them perform.”
Whilst Khan has been a vocal critic of the man who replaced him — outgoing coach Whatmore and those who were involved in the decision to replace him as interim coach for the Australian, he insisted he bears no grudge as he looks forward to possibly a new chapter in his association with the Pakistan team.
“Yes it hurts, the way I was not selected as head coach last time and Whatmore was instead picked. But you have to take the rough with the smooth and I hold no grudges against anyone regarding that choice. They made their choice of head coach and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. “
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have set a deadline of February 6th to receive applications from interested parties for the head coaching position and it remains to be seen whether the man who coached Pakistan to some of its most memorable Test victories in recent times will be allowed to resume his involvement with the Pakistan side.
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