Cricket: Mushtaq agrees to coach Pakistan

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The Independent Online
THE FORMER Pakistan captain Mushtaq Mohammad yesterday came to his country's rescue by agreeing to take over the coaching of the national side in place of Javed Miandad, who resigned last month.

Khalid Mehmood, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board said that the 56-year-old Mushtaq would join the team, who are currently in England preparing for the World Cup which begins next Friday. The appointment is thought to be a short-term one until the end of the tournament, and Khalid said that the former captain was an ideal choice for the team, whom he knows very well. He also said that the South African Richard Pybus would work as assistant coach.

Javed resigned two weeks ago citing family commitments, but it is rumoured he left over differences of opinion with some senior players including the captain, Wasim Akram.

A PCB official said the decision was taken after consultations with Wasim, and it was hoped that the new combination would boost the team's morale.

Mushtaq captained Pakistan and Northamptonshire during a 21-year career between 1958 and 1979. He has coached his national side before in 1995, but was sacked after a humiliating defeat by Sri Lanka in Pakistan. He was reappointed in 1996.

Mike Atherton is joining the BBC's World Cup coverage team. Atherton, who is ruled out of the tournament through injury, will be summarising alongside Viv Richards, Richard Hadlee and Imran Khan.

World Cup outsiders Kenya were given an early indication of the size of their task as Somerset strolled to a seven-wicket win at Taunton yesterday. The visitors managed 224 for 8 off 50 overs, thanks partly to 23 wides from Somerset. Piran Holloway led his side's victory surge with 96 not out as Somerset won with 4.4 overs remaining.