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Khan appointed Pakistan cricket chief selector Australian coach joins emerging Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, April 21, (Agencies): Former captain and coach Moin Khan was appointed as chief selector by the Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday, and Zaheer Abbas as honorary adviser to the chairman. Khan was the coach and Abbas was the batting consultant of the teams which recently fell in the Asia Cup final and didn’t advance to the semifinals of the World Twenty20. Khan will also be the team manager, with permission from his employer, Pakistan International Airlines, the PCB said in a statement. “I will make sure there’s no compromise on merit,” Khan told The Associated Press. “I am thankful to the PCB for posing confidence in me.” Before the World Twenty20, the PCB announced another former captain, Rashid Latif, will take over as chief selector from April 1. However, soon after the tournament in Bangladesh, Latif declined to sign the contract, saying he did not want to be part of controversy. Khan will also be on a three-man committee which will scrutinize applications for national team coaches that include head coach and fielding coach.

PCB directors Intikhab Alam and Haroon Rasheed are the other committee members, and will give recommendations after the cut-off date for applications on May 5. Pakistan is also looking for a spin bowling consultant, strength and conditioning coach and sports physiotherapist. Local media has speculated that Waqar Younis, a former assistant coach, could take over as head coach. Younis was one of the two coaches shortlisted by the previous coach-finding committee before Khan was given a two-month contract to cover the Asia Cup and World Twenty20. Pakistan has a test series against Sri Lanka in July-August, then takes on Australia in a one-off T20, three one-day internationals and two tests in the United Arab Emirates in October.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s new cricket academy coach, Peter Anderson from Australia, has started work in Kabul, officials said Monday, as the fast-developing team prepare for their debut at next year’s World Cup. Anderson coached Papua New Guinea for two years before joining Afghanistan, where cricket is a rare symbol of optimism in a country beset by war, corruption and poverty. “I am excited to be here,” Anderson, 52, said in a press release from the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB). “I hope I can make a contribution to the quality of cricket here. I will start slowly, watching, listening and learning.”

Anderson played 56 first-class matches for Queensland and South Australia as a wicketkeeper, scoring 1,399 runs at an average of 17.93. “We are pleased to be welcoming a person of Peter Anderson’s calibre to head our new Afghanistan Cricket Academy,” said Noor Mohammad Murad, head of the ACB. “He brings to us 35 years of cricketing experience both in Australia and internationally. His experience with Papua New Guinea Cricket, a developing cricket country, will fit him well for his work in Afghanistan.” Anderson will head the new academy, which will seek out and train players from youth level through to the full national squad. Afghanistan’s cricket team have taken big strides over the last decade, gaining one-day status in 2009.

The side have featured in three World Twenty20 tournaments and qualified for the 2015 one-day World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The International Cricket Council has given $1 million funding to each of four World Cup qualifiers — Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Ireland and Scotland — and has arranged training camps in Australia and New Zealand later this year. Afghanistan are in Group A along with Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Bangladesh, England and Sri Lanka.

Afghanistan will also feature in this year’s Asian Games cricket tournament in Incheon, South Korea. West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach escaped serious injury when his BMW car flipped over several times on a rain-lashed Bridgetown road, local media reported Sunday. The 25-year-old suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital, the Barbados Today online newspaper claimed. But Roach insisted he had not been seriously hurt. “Sorry To Scare My Friends, Family And Fans But I’m Straight! Thanks For The Love! BlessUp,” he wrote on Twitter. Roach has played 23 Tests and 61 one-day internationals but has not featured for the West Indies in nearly a year.

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