Aaqib Javed has coached the UAE national cricket team since 2012. Delores Johnson / The National
Aaqib Javed has coached the UAE national cricket team since 2012. Delores Johnson / The National

Aaqib Javed back in Pakistan coaching mix, likely to leave UAE in any event



Aaqib Javed has re-emerged as one of the frontrunners for the vacant position of Pakistan coach, just over a week after he had ruled himself out of the running.

Regardless of whether he becomes Pakistan's next head coach, however, the news for the UAE cricket team is bad: Aaqib is almost certain to leave his post as UAE coach and move back to Pakistan, to possibly explore an opportunity with the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Aaqib was favourite to take over once Waqar Younis resigned after a poor World Twenty20. He said at the time that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had called him and asked whether he would accept the position and he had said yes.

But he withdrew his interest, in some frustration, once the board officially advertised the position. He was further unhappy as he felt that Ramiz Raja and Wasim Akram, two advisors appointed by the PCB to help them in their search, had publicly expressed a preference for a foreign coach.

Now, however, it has emerged that the PCB maintained contact with Aaqib and has convinced him to at least stay in the race as a contender; it is not clear yet whether he will formally apply through the coach selection committee or whether the PCB deals with him directly.

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Even if he does not get it, however, it is very unlikely he will stay on in the UAE, where he has been coach since April 2012. It is understood that he is keen to move back to take up a senior position at a PSL franchise.

If he does go, it will be as the most successful coach in UAE history, having taken the national side to two World Cups, as well as achieving ODI status.

The PCB have been keen on Aaqib from the beginning. He is, as coach, a local product who has worked extensively and successfully in various set-ups within Pakistan cricket: he was head coach of the National Cricket Academy, has been an U-19 World Cup winning coach and has also worked with the national side as an assistant coach.

Despite the interest, it is not a done deal. The vacancy has invited interest from a number of prominent coaching names. Though Aaqib has only one serious local contender in Mohammad Akram, from around the globe the competition is stiffer.

Those thought to be interested or who have already applied for the role, or whom the PCB is especially keen on, include the Australian Stuart Law, the former England coach Peter Moores, as well as the former South Africa and Australia coach Mickey Arthur; the last two, given their international experience will inevitably be strong contenders.

Dean Jones, the former Australian batsman-turned-commentator, who was coach of the Islamabad United side that won the inaugural PSL, is also in the running.

The PCB were keen on reaching out to Paddy Upton, who is involved with three Twenty20 franchises including the PSL’s Lahore Qalanders, but it is believed he is not keen on a full-time appointment with an international side. He could, however, be open to considering a part-time/consulting role.

The board has asked candidates to submit a vision document of sorts, for where they see the team, as well as its coaching and support structures in the short, medium and long-term, as part of their application.

The board’s deadline for the submission of these applications is April 25th, after which, according to the chairman Shaharyar Khan, they hope to finalise and appoint a coach by the first week of May.

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Artist: Kasabian
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5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; 5.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

6pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m; 6.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 2,200m

7.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000 (PA) 1,400m

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

UAE squad

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Day 5, Abu Dhabi Test: At a glance

Moment of the day When Dilruwan Perera dismissed Yasir Shah to end Pakistan’s limp resistance, the Sri Lankans charged around the field with the fevered delirium of a side not used to winning. Trouble was, they had not. The delivery was deemed a no ball. Sri Lanka had a nervy wait, but it was merely a stay of execution for the beleaguered hosts.

Stat of the day – 5 Pakistan have lost all 10 wickets on the fifth day of a Test five times since the start of 2016. It is an alarming departure for a side who had apparently erased regular collapses from their resume. “The only thing I can say, it’s not a mitigating excuse at all, but that’s a young batting line up, obviously trying to find their way,” said Mickey Arthur, Pakistan’s coach.

The verdict Test matches in the UAE are known for speeding up on the last two days, but this was extreme. The first two innings of this Test took 11 sessions to complete. The remaining two were done in less than four. The nature of Pakistan’s capitulation at the end showed just how difficult the transition is going to be in the post Misbah-ul-Haq era.

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How I connect with my kids when working or travelling

Little notes: My girls often find a letter from me, with a joke, task or some instructions for the afternoon, and saying what I’m excited for when I get home.
Phone call check-in: My kids know that at 3.30pm I’ll be free for a quick chat.
Highs and lows: Instead of a “how was your day?”, at dinner or at bathtime we share three highlights; one thing that didn’t go so well; and something we’re looking forward to.
I start, you next: In the morning, I often start a little Lego project or drawing, and ask them to work on it while I’m gone, then we’ll finish it together.
Bedtime connection: Wake up and sleep time are important moments. A snuggle, some proud words, listening, a story. I can’t be there every night, but I can start the day with them.
Undivided attention: Putting the phone away when I get home often means sitting in the car to send a last email, but leaving it out of sight between home time and bedtime means you can connect properly.
Demystify, don’t demonise your job: Help them understand what you do, where and why. Show them your workplace if you can, then it’s not so abstract when you’re away - they’ll picture you there. Invite them into your “other” world so they know more about the different roles you have.


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