Pak ropes in Barry Richards as consultant

Published: Tuesday, June 8, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said they had finally convinced former South African great Barry Richards to serve as cricket consultant for their national academy in Lahore.

"Richards will come for 30 days in a year as consultant for not only the national academy but would add to our commitment to secure our future," PCB chief executive Ramiz Raja said.

Richards, who played four Tests in 1969-70 as a dashing opener before South Africa were banned for the country's apartheid policies, rejected the PCB's offer to become full time coach two years ago due to his commitments as television commentator.

Richards is the second foreigner Pakistan has sought to train its academy trainees after former Australian captain Greg Chappell agreed to serve as consultant and to tour Pakistan next month.

"Our main problem is batting and through these two great players our players will get useful guidance," said Raja, also a former captain.

"Both Richards and Chappell are great thinkers, have good ideas so they would have encompassing roles under which they would also prepare our coaching manuals which suit our conditions.

"Due to less movement our batsmen play more towards the on-side and the manuals would teach them how to play these shots correctly under all conditions."

Raja denied the PCB was spending lavishly on its foreign hirings.

The PCB built the national academy at a cost of around 60 million rupees (around one million dollars) in 2002 through sponsorships and also sought the services of former England opener Geoff Boycott, former Kent and Western Australian coach Daryl Foster and Surrey fielding coach Julian Fountain.

Foster, who also served as Pakistan's bowling coach on two occasions in 2001 and 2003, is also due to return for training at the national academy next month.

"Around 25 players are under training at the academy as the first batch and more are under training at regional academies in Karachi, Peshawar and Rawalpindi," he said.

The PCB had to start a rebuilding phase after Pakistan's first round exit from the 2003 World Cup and then the retirement of greats like Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Saeed Anwar.

Pakistan's home series defeat against India two months ago was also criticised, forcing the PCB to ask the experts' help for the future series.

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