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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Skipper Afridi urges Miandad to reconsider decision

Shoaib Akhtar, Sohail Tanvir, Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul arrive for practice at the Gaddafi Stadium
KARACHI: When Shahid Afridi was told that Javed Miandad has opted against travelling with the national team to New Zealand as its batting and fielding consultant, he went to the former Pakistan captain and requested him to reconsider his decision.

“I’ve requested him (Miandad) to change his mind,” Afridi told ‘The News’. “The team can learn from his vast experience and I believe that if Miandad goes with us to New Zealand, it could make quite a difference,” added Pakistan’s one-day captain.

Afridi and his teammates are currently getting useful advise from Miandad at the national training camp under progress at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

The experienced allrounder hoped that Miandad will rethink his decision and decide to accompany the national team to New Zealand where he can continue working with the players and help them improve their performance.

Miandad, however, believes that he has made the right decision. “Yes, Shahid did come to me and said that I’ve heard you are not going with us to New Zealand. He requested me to be a part of the squad as the team’s batting and fielding consultant. I appreciate his gesture but the thing is that I firmly believe that my presence with the team on the tour might not be really helpful,” Miandad told this correspondent on Saturday.

“I personally believe that it would be better for the boys if Waqar Younis has complete say in the team matters,” he said referring to the former Pakistan Test pacer, who is the national coach.

“If I’m involved then I should be there as the sole in charge. That’s the only way a team can benefit from its coach. If you have too many persons calling the shots then the only thing you will achieve is confusion.”

Miandad, who has served as Pakistan’s coach on three separate occasions in the past, said that he will continue working with the players over the next few days in a bid to help them ‘fine tune’ their game.

“The seven or eight days I’ll spend with the players should be enough for me to give them some valuable tips,” he said. “By the time this training camp concludes, I’m sure that as batting and fielding consultant I would have done my job. That’s why there is no need for me to travel with the team to New Zealand,” added Miandad referring to the preparatory camp for the New Zealand-bound team that will conclude in Lahore on December 15.

Pakistan will leave for New Zealand on December 17 to play three Twenty20 Internationals, two Tests and six One-day Internationals. They are looking forward to using the series to finalise their preparations for World Cup 2011 to be held in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka from February 19 to April 2.
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