Karachi, Aug 21: After weeks of latent tension and acrimony within the Pakistan team management, Pakistan team coach Waqar Younis has decided to put in his papers citing personal reasons, including his and his wife's health. He further announced that the side's upcoming tour of Zimbabwe will be his last assignment.
"I have tendered my resignation to the [Pakistan Cricket] board last week and the tour to Zimbabwe will be my last," an unemotional Waqar Younis said at a press conference in Karachi. "I have taken this decision on personal grounds, including medical grounds, and have no differences with anyone and my resignation has been accepted by the board.
The 39-year-old Waqar took over the mantle of coach in March last year in the wake of Team Pakistan's tumultuous tour of Australia in which the visitors were unable to secure victory in a single game. No sooner had he replaced Intikhab Alam for the job, Pakistan cricket was rattled by the spot-fixing controversy, marking perhaps the side's most turbulent phase in history.
It was also during Waqar's tenure that Pakistan wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider fled the team who was midway through a series in the UAE, for the UK, citing that he was being threatened by match-riggers.
In the 2010-11 season, Waqar oversaw a victorious Pakistan campaign of New Zealand where they won the Test and One-Day series before reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup, ending Australia's tournament winning-streak en route.
Waqar likened his term as coach to a "rollercoaster" and claimed his side was shaken when informed that he'll be stepping down. "It was a roller coaster for me, with a lot of controversies including the spot-fixing scandal, but I am proud of the fact that all these young boys have carried on the good work despite these problems.
The PCB spokesman Nadeem Sarwar said: ""The PCB has accepted his resignation and understands his personal reasons. His tenure was good and we wish him the best in his future."
Waqar's last major engagement was the tour of the West Indies where Pakistan drew the Test series and snatched victory in the ODI series. However the tour sparked tension between him and limited-overs captain Shahid Afridi over team selection that eventually led to Afridi's retirement from international cricket.
While the PCB still mulls a replacement for Waqar, batting and fielding coach Ijaz Ahmed has been made his deputy for the upcoming Zimbbawe assignment.