Alam back at helm
Pakistan have re-appointed Intikhab Alam as their team manager for their upcoming series against South Africa in the UAE.
The former Pakistan captain replaces Yawar Saeed who stepped down after the troubled tour of England that was marred by spot-fixing allegations. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) made the annoucement as they revealed the 15-man squad for their one-day and Twenty20 matches with South Africa, with Shoaib Malik, the former captain, the most notable name missing off the list.
A captain for the tour, which also includes two Test matches, will be announced at a later date. The ODI series starts in Abu Dhabi on October 26 and the first Test will start in Dubai on November 12. The 68-year-old Alam was seen as the likely candidate to replace Saeed, who was blamed for not being able to handle the off-field problems on the tour of England which ended last month. The controversy centred on Salman Butt, the Test captain and the pace bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, who were provisionally suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC) over newspaper reports claiming they were paid to bowl no-balls in the Lord's Test against England in August.
The ICC also launched a separate inquiry after being tipped off by the Sun newspaper that Pakistan's scoring pattern in the third one-day international against England at The Oval on September 17, was pre-arranged with bookmakers. The investigations have heaped greater demands on the post of manager, with the PCB hoping that Alam's experience will help him handle the spotlight. "Alam has been appointed team manager," Nadeem Sarwar, a PCB spokesman said.
Alam said he is looking forward to taking responsibility for the team. "It's a tough job. I will make sure that all goes well and I manage to keep the image of the team better and it goes up," he said. Alam has held the post of manager and coach on several occasions since retiring as player in 1976 and was the manager-coach when Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup in Australia. He was again coach in 2000 before being sacked. He returned as coach in October 2008 for another stint as replacement for Geoff Lawson.
That tenure also ended acrimoniously after he was replaced by Waqar Younis following Pakistan's winless tour of Australia earlier this year.
Kamran Akmal, the wicket-keeper batsman, who suffered abdominal problems before being hospitalised on Wednesday, will have to pass a fitness test to get into the squad that comes to the UAE. Veteran batsman Misbah-ul-Haq makes a return to the squad.
Published: October 8, 2010 04:00 AM