PCB looks for baseball pro as fielding coach

Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Karachi:The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is on the lookout for a career baseballer to come and help improve the fielding standards of its national team, Chairman Shaharyar Khan said on Monday.He confirmed to "The News" in Karachi that the board had decided to appoint a fielding coach for the Pakistan team as part of its preparations for the home series against England and India this season.

"We are not looking for someone to appoint on a permanent basis with the team like a physiotherapist and fitness trainer. But we want to hire someone who can come and spend two to three weeks with the team before the international home season.

"We want someone who can come and give a demonstration to our players on the mechanisms of a good fielder in modern day sports."

Shaharyar said while the board was also doing its homework it had also asked national team coach Bob Woolmer to search for someone suitable.

"Ideally we would like to have someone like the former South Africa player Jonty Rhodes to work with our players but apparently he is not available. We have also looking into the possibility of going for a professional baseballer who generally tend to be very good fielders," he added.

He pointed out that other Test teams like Australia, England, etc., had all benefited a lot in recent years from hiring a baseball pro or coach who worked them on fielding drills.

While some of the Pakistani players have generally raised their fielding standards in the last few years particularly after the appointment of Woolmer as coach last year, there is a popular argument that as a team Pakistan still needs to improve a lot.

Even captain Inzamam-ul-Haq and Woolmer have identified fielding as one area on which more improvement was needed for the coming series against England and India.

"Fielding is a very important part of modern day cricket specially with the influx of One-day International cricket and we are keen to sign up someone as soon as possible so that he can start to work with our players," Shaharyar said.

He indicated that talks had been held with someone from England but were not final as yet. "The idea of having a baseball pro or coach has impressed us all and I think it is something we are looking at very seriously."

While Woolmer has already started fitness conditioning camps for its players it will set up a formal training camp in September.

The Board has also arranged for three four-day practice games as part of the preparation process for the England series in November-December.

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