Bob Woolmer may have ‘overstayed’ as Pakistan coach

Saturday, March 17, 2007

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Officially you might hear something different, but whispers coming out of the Pakistani camp here strongly indicate that the national cricket bosses are already searching for the successor of coach Bob Woolmer, writes Khalid Hussain.Sources in the Pakistan squad have confirmed to ‘The News’ here that some of the team players and officials have developed serious differences with Woolmer and are urging the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to bring in a new coach after the World Cup. Woolmer’s contract with the Pakistan team is supposed to run till June this year and the PCB chief Dr Nasim Ashraf recently said that the Board was considering the option to carry on with him even after the World Cup. However, things are far from smooth in the Pakistani camp and some of the team members and officials believe Woolmer has been playing a bit of a role in it. Sources said that there is a feeling in a segment of the Pakistani camp that Woolmer might be leaking information of discord within the team and its officials to the media. They are also unhappy with the fact that the Englishman has opted to write regular columns for a web portal during the all-important World Cup during which he should have been concentrating on his team’s performance in the event. Sources said that Woolmer’s strained relations with a top PCB official are also not helping his cause. There were indications that Woolmer could have been told by the Board that his contract would end after the World Cup before the Pakistani squad left for the Caribbean as the coach is said to have sent his belongings back to South Africa where he is based. Reports coming from Lahore, where Woolmer stays during his visits to Pakistan, suggested that the PCB has already given his room at the National Cricket Academy to a CARICOM official who was in Lahore in connection with special World Cup visas.However, Woolmer said he hasn’t been informed about any such development. “I don’t know if somebody has been put in my room, I’ve no such information,” said Woolmer. “If somebody is staying there then it is without my permission,” he added. Woolmer, 58, also denied that he sent all his stuff back to his home in South Africa from Lahore before coming here. “I did send some stuff that I did not need but all the important stuff is with me right here.”The former England batsman who is regarded as one of the most accomplished coaches in the cricket world is believed to be in the run to replace England coach Duncan Fletcher after the World Cup.

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Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?