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Waqar Younis promises a fresh start as Pakistan coach

Waqar Younis
Waqar Younis begins his second stint as Pakistan coach © Getty Images

Karachi: Jul 1, 2014

Pakistan’s new head coach, Waqar Younis has said he would not commit the same mistakes that he made in his last tenure and exuded confidence of preparing the national team for next year’s World Cup. Waqar, who officially began his second stint as head coach today, told reporters in Lahore that he had learnt a lot from his first stint.

“I have said it before I have learnt from mistakes made and I say when you have a group of people together all the time for long periods some disagreements do occur. I guess it is the job of the head coach to man manage these things and that is what I will try to do my best now,” he said.

Waqar was also asked about his infamous feud with allrounder Shahid Afridi in 2011 in the West Indies which eventually led to the latter being sacked as captain of the one-day and T20 team. ”It is now a thing of the past and we have to move on.” The former fast bowler, who served as head coach in 2010 and 2011 before resigning on personal and health grounds, also made it clear he had gone for the post a second time because he believed that Pakistan was capable of beating anyone.

“We are capable of defeating any team. And I believe that with the right mix of players and with the right approach we can do well in the World Cup in 2015,” he said. Waqar said he and the players had ample time to prepare for the World Cup which is about 10 months away. ”We are getting the right mix of cricket and we can prepare for the tournament accordingly because conditions in Australia and New Zealand are difficult and we have to plan ahead,” he said.

The former captain however made it clear he had no plans to build a new team for the World Cup. ”That would not be a wise move because like I said the World Cup is a big tournament and they are lot of expectations attached to it. So we will try to find the right mix of players. What I am happy and excited about is that we have some exciting players coming up and I am looking forward to working with them,” he said.

Waqar was also asked about the captaincy issue and Misbah-ul-Haq‘s performance and whether he was the right choice for one-day cricket. ”I don’t think I am the right person to answer this but definitely yes the board needs to look ahead and plan for the future. But I am happy that atleast we have had a captain who has been there for sometime now and has enjoyed a element of consistency. I believe it is good that captain’s performance should be scrutinized series to series but at same time a captain needs to know he has time to work things out his way.”

Waqar said he would be approaching the national team preparations on short term and long term basis.”We have series with Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand coming up that is lot of cricket and we have to do well in these series but at same time I want to use these series to build up momentum for the World Cup as well.”, he said.

Asked about criticism by former captain, Javed Miandad on the appointment of Zimbabwean Grant Flower as batting coach of the national team, Waqar said he had a lot of respect for Miandad but at same time he had heard a lot about the work ethics of Flower and was looking forward to working with him. ”I am sure he will bring about improvements but my main focus has always been on fielding and physical fitness.”, he said.

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