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PCB appoints rugby trainer to improve fitness

cricket Updated: Aug 18, 2007 14:53 IST

PTI
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Pakistan cricket authorities on Saturday announced signing up an Australian rugby trainer David Dwyer to improve the fitness and fielding standards in the national cricket team.

Dwyer has been appointed on an initial two-year contract on the recommendation of chief coach Geoff Lawson which would be reviewed on basis of the team's performances. Dwyer will arrive at Lahore with Lawson on Monday.

"Lawson believes Dwyer has the capacity and experience to make things work with our players," said Zakir Khan, director of cricket operations, Pakistan Cricket Board.

"He is said to be a capable trainer and has worked with different rugby teams in Australia and also in Singapore," Zakir added.

Another official said the Board was also trying to rope in a baseball coach as fielding trainer for the team but had so far met with no success as most of the leading coaches in the states were busy in their season.

"The Board chairman himself is personally pursuing the case because of his contacts in the US," the official said.

Lawson and Dwyer will fly in to take charge of their assignments at a time when uncertainty prevails in Pakistan cricket over the future of some leading players.

Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Asim Kamal and Imran Farhat have all confirmed they are considering offers to play in the Indian Cricket League while a newspaper on Saturday reported that the ICL organisers had made an enhanced offer of Rs 100 million to pacer Mohammad Asif.

Yousuf, Razzaq, Kamal and Farhat were all ignored for the Twenty20 World Cup being held in South Africa next month.

Pakistan team is also due to take part in a preparatory four-nation Twenty20 competition involving, Kenya, UAE and Bangladesh in Nairobi in early September before the World Cup.

What is worrying the Board officials is that most of the players approached by the ICL people have flown to London including all-rounder Shahid Afridi, who, sources say, may not have signed the central contracts given by the Board to the players as yet.

"Why all the players should be reaching London at one time is of concern to the Board. Because no Board would like to see its players go and play in rebel league not recognised either by the Indian Board or the ICC," one source said.