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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Don't rush John Wright - Intikhab

Former Pakistan test captain and coach Intikhab Alam has warned the New Zealand public not to expect instant results from new Black Caps boss John Wright.
But Intikhab, on tour with the Pakistan team as manager, believes New Zealand Cricket's decision on Monday to replace coach Mark Greatbatch with Wright will eventually bear fruit.
The Pakistan stalwart, now 68, considers Wright a personal friend after playing against him on the English county scene during the late 1970s.
He says he watched with interest as the former New Zealand opener carved out an impressive five-year reign as coach of India between late 2000 and 2005 and sees no reason why history won't repeat itself in this part of the world.
"It [changing coaches] happens with every country really," Intikhab said yesterday.
"Nothing is like success. If a team is playing well, then everything is OK. But if the senior players aren't performing or playing to their potential, it can be hard.
"If you look at the administration side of things, they [NZC] had to do something about it. Change, I think, probably brings about better results.
"We will have to wait and see, though."
Intikhab is qualified to talk about the need for a change of coaches in an international team.
It was only a summer ago, when Pakistan were last in this part of the world, that Intikhab was the coach of the team.
But poor results in Australia saw him replaced in favour of former fast bowler Waqar Younis.
In replacing Greatbatch with Wright, Intikhab believes NZC has made a prudent decision.
However, with the World Cup just around the corner in February, he said his old friend would be under pressure to deliver results immediately.
Wright's first assignment will be Boxing Day's Twenty20 between the sides in Auckland.
"I have known John Wright for a very long time, right back to when he was playing in England," Intikhab said.
"I was playing for Surrey at the time and he's been a good friend of mine. I think he's a good coach as well, actually. He spent five years in India and now he's got an opportunity to coach his own country.
"The pressure will be on him and I wish him all the best of luck. I think he's a good enough person to be the coach of the New Zealand side."
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