WC 2003 - Pak coach likely to quit, says collective effort missing
Published: Saturday, February 22, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Pakistani players returning home amidst heavy security
Johannesburg: Pakistan coach Richard Pybus was on the verge of quitting on Friday, saying it was difficult to coach a side in which players were not willing to learn."I tried my best but it was difficult. Some guys wanted to learn, but some were not interested at all," Pybus said after strong contenders Pakistan bowed out of the World Cup in the first round.The South Africa-based Pybus, 42, said it was time for someone else to take over. "I think I can still contribute to Pakistan cricket, but it is time to move on and let someone else do the job," he said."I would prefer to spend quality time with my daughter." He said that Pakistan, World Cup champions in 1992 and runners-up to Australia four years ago, was a good side but some players lacked the passion and desire to perform at the international level."I won't name any individual but they get to the park and are part of the team but not of the plan," a disgusted Pybus said. "They have old habits, they don't want to change. There's a reluctance to learn and change."Pakistan spent a miserable time at the tournament, its only victories coming against minnows Namibia and the Netherlands, while the game against Zimbabwe was washed out.Pybus said he was not interested in appearing before a three-member panel appointed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to probe the debacle, but preferred to submit a comprehensive report instead.Pybus, who has served three terms as Pakistan coach at various times, said it was not an easy job trying to coach the talented, but unpredictable team. "I would not say bad performances are because players are bad learners, but they are reluctant to get into anything unknown," he said."Their cricket awareness and knowledge is poor because players are products of a poor cricketing environment, unlike in Australia where sporting awareness is great at a young age."When I wanted a computer analyst with the team, it was termed a waste of money. A team without an analyst is like going to war without a radar. I may be barking up the wrong tree but I must warn that Pakistan cricket will fall behind if it did not turn professional."Pybus said cricket authorities in the country should identify the players of the future and "throw them out if they don't change." "There were guys who were not ready for international cricket. The individual talent was there but the collective effort was missing," he said.Pybus declined to comment on reports that captain Waqar Younis had lost the support of his teammates. "Waqar had a tough job considering he was under tremendous pressure, there was an uncertainty over his job but I think he managed to cope well," Pybus said."He showed the guts to go out there and put himself on line. It's easy to be critical after a debacle like this, if there were problems with his captaincy they should have been resolved before the World Cup."