The unassuming Aaqib Javed is the last person you’d expect to see as part of a controversial headline, but having been the cynosure of all press eyes for the last 48 hours, he was willing to take part in a hard-hitting tete-a-tete with ARY News.
If the courteous Head Coach of the UAE was taken aback at being asked if he still held a grudge against former captain and current member of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s coach selection committee, Wasim Akram, for allegedly cutting short his career – and this, therefore was the reason he did not want to be a part of the PCB’s search for a new coach – he showed no discomfort. He clarified that it had been the PCB who had approached him but after showing initial interest, he balked at the idea of the post now being advertised and supposedly in the hunt for a foreign personality.
When asked if the post had just become too controversial after the most recent Head Coach WaqarYounis had gone to the press before handing in his resignation, he said he would reply as a well-wisher of WaqarYounis. “Timing is everything. Waqar should have resigned first and given the recommendations later. Then people would not feel he had to be removed from his post.”
Local UAE media have often seen Aaqib interacting with his boys on the UAE team and thelatter have always said that as a coach, he tells them to strike a good balance between work and play. Thus, he feels that had he taken on the position of bowling coach, it would have been “important to build up relations” with his players.
Perhaps his most brutal assessment comes for those vying for the board’s various jobs. “There are always three jobs and 100 people after them, so they keep bad-mouthing each other all year long, in order to get ahead.”
Aaqib Javed is honest about PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan’s frailties, “His decisions have been dimmed somewhat by his age, although his first tenure with the board was good.”
Not afraid to go against the norm, he deviates from many a belief we have heard this last week regarding the inclusion of former cricketers in the PCB’s administrative structure. He is equally critical of legendary batsman Javed Miandad. “A post was created for him, but he did nothing because his strength lies in cricket and not administration.”
Due to his noted success with the UAE team, Aaqib Javed is in high demand as a coach, but in this instance he counts himself out of the rat race. However, although he views only Mohammad Aamir as a potential match-winning bowler for Pakistan, he is optimistic and feels time spent focusing on the right variations will improve the bowling unit. Unfortunately for many who thought of him as a sensible choice for bowling coach for Pakistan, he is not keen on resurrecting that part of his career just yet.