Waqar Younis will quit as Pakistan coach for medical reasons after next month’s tour of Zimbabwe. Waqar, whose contract was due to run until 2012, said: “I have no issues with anyone but because of medical reasons I have decided I can’t continue as coach after the Zimbabwe tour.”
The 39-year-old former fast bowler did not elaborate on his condition at a news conference in Lahore on Saturday.
Waqar, who took 373 wickets in 87 Tests and claimed 416 victims in 262 one-day internationals, stressed that his decision to resign had nothing to do with changes in the Pakistan set-up.
“I am now living in Sydney with my family and I need to spend more time there,” he said. “I have enjoyed the challenges of working with the Pakistan team. I am disappointed I won’t be able to continue with them in this transition period.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board’s chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmad, said: “We didn’t want him to go but after he explained things to us we understood he needed to be with his family,” Ahmad said. “We are thankful to him that he agreed to go to Zimbabwe. We will now begin the process of looking at suitable candidates for the coaching position.”
Waqar, a former Test captain, was appointed after the team suffered a humiliating tour of Australia last year when he was the team’s bowling coach.
His resignation comes at a time when the PCB has made wholesale changes to the backroom staff, removing the long-serving manager Intikhab Alam and the assistant coaches Aaqib Javed and Shahid Aslam. The board said the trio needed to give more time to their duties at the national cricket academy.
The governing board member Naveed Akram Cheema will be the manager in Zimbabwe and the former Test batsman Ijaz Ahmed the assistant coach.
Waqar had a tough time during the 2010 series in England after the captain Salman Butt and the pacemen Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir became involved in a spot-fixing scandal.
Pakistan then enjoyed a good 50-over World Cup under Waqar’s supervision earlier this year, reaching the semi-finals. After the tour to West Indies in May, the former one-day captain Shahid Afridi spoke of differences he had with Waqar over selection issues.
The tour of Zimbabwe includes one Test, three one-dayers and a Twenty20 international.
© Guardian UK