Pakistan News

New Pakistan manager hopes to have rapport with players

New Pakistan manager hopes to have rapport with players

KARACHI: Wasim Bari, the new Pakistan team manager, pledged on Sunday to develop camaraderie among members of the national side during the upcoming series against the West Indies in the UAE.

Speaking exclusively to Dawn before leaving for Dubai with the Sarfraz Ahmed-led Pakistan T20 squad, the former national skipper who took over from long-serving Intikhab Alam as team manager stressed that the upcoming matches at the offshore venues will be played in a friendly atmosphere.

“My assignment [as team manager] is to ensure our players in all three formats strictly follow rules and regulations set for them. Nobody would be allowed to bring the game into disrepute by indulging in acts against the spirit of cricket,” the 68-year-old Bari emphasised.

“I have taken all stakeholders [all three Pakistan captains — Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Sarfraz] on board and told them I what expect from the players under their charge. There will be no compromise on disciplinary issues because as per the PCB policy there will be a zero tolerance for this purpose.”

Regarded as the finest wicket-keeper produced by the country, Bari had a distinguished international career from 1967 until 1984. His tally of 228 dismissals, including 201 catches, in 81 Tests is yet to be bettered by any Pakistani.

After having up his gloves as a player, Bari simultaneously held key positions in PIA and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and served the cricket board in different capacities after retiring from the national carrier before being appointed manager for the West Indies series.

Bari hoped his experience as ex-chairman of the national selection committee on several occasions would help him have better rapport with the players.

“I’m extremely lucky that I know a number of players personally since my days as chief selector. That would help me to deal with them without any problem. It doesn’t mean that some of the newcomers would be hard to interact with,” Bari said.

“All of them are good and well-behaved individuals. I’m sure we will together get along nicely during my time with the players. The crucial aspect for me personally is to create a congenial atmosphere within the ranks and utilise past experience [as former chief selector] in bringing the players together.”

Commenting on the Twenty20 International series, Bari warned Pakistan will have to guard against complacency after Sarfraz began his tenure as national captain with a crushing nine-wicket win against England at Manc­hester’s Old Trafford ground on Sept 7.

“It was a great result, no doubt, for Pakistan after the demoralising 4-1 defeat in the one-day series prior to that one-off fixture. But at the same time all of us should realise the fact that after all, we are going to play the current World T20 champions and that itself presents a big challenge for Pakistan,” Bari pointed out.

“Cricket is a game of uncertainties and the shortest format is the most unpredictable form of game. On top of that the two teams who will be playing shortly are known amongst the most unpredictable of all teams.”

The T20 series will be followed by three One-day Internationals and as many Tests.

Published in Dawn September 19th, 2016

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