Days of dressing room brawls are over: Pakistan cricket coach

December 14th, 2008 - 3:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Shoaib AkhtarKarachi, Dec 14 (IANS) Six weeks after taking over as national cricket coach, Intikhab Alam Sunday said that senior players have resolved their differences after a series of team meetings in the past few weeks.”The dressing room atmosphere is getting better already. We saw that in Abu Dhabi and that’s a good sign for Pakistan,” he said referring to last month’s three-match one-day series against the West Indies which Pakistan swept 3-0.

“The key for them to rebuild trust is proper communication,” he said.

“As coach I’m trying my best to bridge any communication gaps between the players and I must say that the boys are responding positively.”

Intikhab, 66, succeeded former Aussie Test pacer Geoff Lawson as Pakistan’s coach last month.

Just days after taking over as Pakistan coach, Intikhab made it clear that he wasn’t happy with the differences among the players. It is understood that some of the senior players like Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Akhtar were not happy with skipper Shoaib Malik.

“I have been telling my players to work as a team,” Intikhab said.

However, Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf were engaged in a war of words recently.

But Intikhab reasoned that the Yousuf-Malik row was because of communication gap. “Such an episode would not have taken place had there been better communication between the (two) players,” he said.

“It’s very important for a team that its players and officials have a good level of understanding.”

Yousuf, who rejoined the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL) last month, accused Malik of being disrespectful towards senior players and claimed that he joined the ICL after being treated shabbily by the captain.

Malik rejected the accusation, terming it a smart excuse by Yousuf to move to the cash-rich league. He then went on to say that Yousuf has tarnished Pakistan’s image by joining the rebel ICL.

Intikhab said he himself tries to spend as much time as he can with the players.

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