Karachi: Former Pakistan pacer Aaqib Javed, who was removed as assistant coach of the national team for the tour of Zimbabwe, is being tipped as a strong candidate to fill in the head coach's post left vacant by the sudden resignation of Waqar Younis.
Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board said that although the deliberations on who will succeed Waqar is yet to start, Aaqib's name is being promoted by a strong lobby within the PCB.
"The deliberations on who will be the next coach will only began after the chairman of the board, Ijaz Butt returns from India this week. But already a strong lobby has started floating the name of Aaqib," one source told PTI.
He said the lobby was promoting Aaqib by highlighting the fact that he has worked as assistant coach with Intikhab Alam and Waqar Younis since the last two years and was also popular among the players.
"It is too early to say anything but with the lobby going strong one can't rule out Aaqib as a strong candidate to be the next coach," the source added.
Aaqib and associate coach, Shahid Aslam and long-serving manager, Intikhab Alam were all relieved from their positions in the team management before the Zimbabwe tour as the PCB wanted them to focus on their jobs in the National Cricket Academy.
But Waqar stunned the PCB last week by announcing his resignation on personal and health grounds and said the Zimbabwe tour would be his last assignment with the national team.
Former Test player Mudassar Nazar has already given his vote for Aaqib to be the next head coach.
"I'm at ease with either a Pakistani or non-Pakistani coach, whoever is best for the job should be given the role. However it's almost impossible to appoint a non-Pakistani coach and expect him to spend so much time working in Pakistan.
"Unfortunately, living in Pakistan at the moment is difficult even for Pakistanis so how can we expect a foreigner to come and settle in Pakistan," he said.
"I have a lot of faith in Aaqib Javed as he has come through the Pakistani system. He's been working in different roles for nearly the last 10 years. He's a damn good coach and I think they should appoint Aaqib," Mudassar added.