Intikhab wants Pakistan to be among the top three sides

January 1st, 2009 - 7:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 1(IANS) Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam wants his team to be among the top-three sides in both Tests and one-dayers this year.Pakistan is currently struggling at number six in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test ratings, after failing to play a single Test in 2008. It has failed to win a single Test in its last five appearances, losing back-to-back series in India and against South Africa.

Pakistan is doing relatively better in one-dayers and is placed at number four in ICC’s ODI rankings. It won 18 of the 21 one-dayers it played in 2008, including a tri-nations title in Bangladesh where it beat India in the final. But most of its other ODI wins came against lower-ranked opponents like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Intikhab, a former Pakistan captain who took over as national coach in November, said last year Pakistan was forced to play matches against weaker teams as top sides stayed away from the country because of security apprehensions.

He, however, hoped that 2009 will be a better year for Pakistan, adding that he expects good results from his charges.

Speaking on the central contracts issue, Intikhab said he has completed the document and will discuss it with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt soon.

Intikhab was given the task to revise the central contracts which are awarded by the PCB to the country’s elite cricketers. Because of financial problems, it is expected that the Board will cut down salaries and perks given to the players. However, Intikhab made it clear the central contracts will be “players-friendly”.

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