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Pakistan won't sack coach, skipper

PCB chief Shaharyar Khan on Thursday ruled out sacking Bob Woolmer and Inzamam-ul Haq despite Australia drubbing in Tests.
PTI | By Shahid Hashmi (AFP), Karachi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 06, 2005 05:34 PM IST

Pakistan's cricket chief on Thursday ruled out sacking English coach Bob Woolmer and captain Inzamam-ul Haq after Australia whitewashed his team 3-0 in the just-ended Test series.

"We are as disappointed as the common cricket fan here but it's not a matter to panic over and we will not make any abrupt changes," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan said.

"We are not changing the captain and the coach."

However he said the board would "review the series with a cool head" after Australia completed a clinical 3-0 whitewash over Pakistan with a comprehensive nine-wicket win with a day to spare in the third Test in Sydney on Wednesday.

Australia, the world champions in both forms of the game, registered their third clean sweep against Pakistan after routing them by the same margin in 1999 and 2002.

Pakistan lost the first Test at Perth by a whopping deficit of 491 runs, the fourth biggest defeat in Test cricket history, and went down by nine wickets in the second Test in Melbourne.

Pakistani cricket fans reportedly burned effigies of Inzamam and Woolmer after the first Test. The foreign-born coach came under fire from his predecessor, former Pakistan great Javed Miandad.

Inzamam managed one and nought in the only Test he played at Perth and missed the last two Tests due to a recurring back trouble.

"We have to consider that this is a result against the world's best team, and although it's disappointing that seniors did not perform as per expectations, some exciting youngsters have done well," said the PCB chairman.

He described promising left-handed opener Salman Butt the "find of the tour", managing 225 runs with a maiden hundred and a fifty while leg-spinner Danish Kaneria grabbed 15 wickets to finish as the leading bowler for Pakistan.

Pakistan's woeful on-field performances were compounded by injuries to key players. In addition to Inzamam's back trouble, allrounder Abdul Razzaq had a breathing problem, Shoaib Malik suffered split webbing and pacer Mohammad Sami missed the Sydney Test with heel and back injuries.

The board retained Inzamam, Razzaq and Malik for the tri-series one-day tournament starting from next week with hosts Australia and the West Indies as other teams.

But Sami was ruled out of the one-day series and Shoaib Akhtar was doubtful with a hamstring injury.

Akhtar, who took 11 wickets in the first two Tests, failed to get a wicket when he bowled in the first innings of the Sydney Test.

Former players and national media slammed Inzamam's captaincy .

"We must look forward to the 2007 World Cup and appoint Yousuf Youhana as skipper because at 34 Inzamam cannot regain full fitness," former Pakistan pacer Sarfraz Nawaz said, calling for Inzamam's sacking.

"The lesson to be learnt from the first half of the Australian tour is simple: Pakistan team will never fulfil its potential until it finds a decent captain," said a banner headline in local English daily The News.

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