Cricket: Pakistan coaching offer to Woolmer

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The Independent Online
PAKISTAN'S NEW cricket chief, Mujeeber Rehman, has asked the former South Africa coach Bob Woolmer to take charge of the national team for the coming season. "I sincerely hope that he agrees because I am convinced that he is the person who can extract the best out of the Pakistan players," said Rehman. Woolmer's reply is expected this week.

Woolmer, who ended a successful five-year term with South Africa after the World Cup in June, has already turned down coaching offers from England and Sri Lanka. He is to take over as coach of Warwickshire from next season.

"He is methodical and calculated and that's the art which has made him the best coach," Rehman said.

Rehman believes Pakistan have the best players in the world, but says they lack consistency. "This is the element which Bob can infuse into the players to bring them at par with any side in the world," he added.

Pakistan have been without a coach since Mushtaq Mohammad's assignment ended after the World Cup.

Rehman was appointed head of the ad hoc committee of the Pakistan Cricket Board two weeks ago when the PCB was suspended by President Rafiq Tarar in the wake of Pakistan's defeat to Australia.

The Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq claimed yesterday that he was ready to face hanging if found guilty of match-fixing and bribery charges. Saqlain was named as an alleged beneficiary along with Mushtaq Ahmed, Inzamam- ul-Haq, Waqar Younis and Moin Khan in last year's interim report by the PCB.

"If I am found guilty, punish me. I am even ready for public execution, but if it proves wrong then the accusers should be punished," Saqlain said in Karachi, where he met officials investigating the allegations.

Saqlain said: "I can swear on the Koran that I am innocent. My hands are clean because I have never been involved in match-fixing."

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