Aaqib Javed ‘staying with the UAE’ despite vacant coaching role in Pakistan

Coach prefers preparing UAE for major tournaments over the next year rather than take over Dav Whatmore, reports Paul Radley.

Aaqib Javed, the UAE coach, is a former Pakistan fast bowler. Sarah Dea / The National
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Aaqib Javed, the UAE coach, says he would not consider a return to Pakistan if he was offered the vacant role of head coach of the national team.

The former fast bowler left his role as Pakistan’s bowling coach to take up a lower-profile position as head coach of cricket here in March 2012. He has enjoyed unprecedented success in the role since, making good on his aim of seeing the UAE qualify for three different World Cups.

Pakistan are searching for a new coach after Dav Whatmore’s contract was not renewed, but Aaqib says the role is not for him.

He says the prospect of overseeing the UAE’s challenge at this month’s Under 19 World Cup, the World Twenty20 in March and next year’s 50 over version is exciting. “I would say spare me [if approached by the Pakistan Cricket Board], I’m not available, I’m staying with the UAE,” Aaqib said.

“I’m not leaving. When I started this thing, I wanted to spend some time in the UAE, and now it is exciting working with the UAE team. Why should I go back to Pakistan?

“Coming back to the UAE, I could not have asked any more from the team in terms of the effort they have put in.”

Aaqib’s sentiments are a massive boost for the game here, given the impact he has had during the past two years.

According to Khurram Khan, the captain of the national team, the former Pakistan Test player has given the side the belief and know-how to succeed.

“The credit goes to the coach,” Khurram said after qualification for the World Cup was secured. “He came in and he changed the way we were used to thinking.

“We thought we could only survive with the spin bowlers. He told us we could do it with fast bowlers. We have a very good bowling attack now.”