Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday appointed its director international cricket operations Zakir Khan as manager of the national team for the forthcoming Asia Cup and Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh on the advice of the foreign ministry. A well informed source said that PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf met foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz before going to Singapore for the ICC Executive Board meeting and a decision was taken to send a senior official as manager of the team.
"During that meeting the forthcoming tournaments in Bangladesh were also discussed and in principle the PCB has been told to send its team for both events despite the anti-Pakistan protests in Bangladesh," the source told PTI.
He said the security arrangements for the Pakistan team in Bangladesh also came under discussion and Ashraf was told that it would be better if a senior official of the Board remained with the team as its manager to handle any untoward situation while in Bangladesh. "The feeling was that if a senior official of the Board who was well aware of the correspondence with the ICC, Asian Cricket Council and Bangladesh Board be made manager to handle things better in Bangladesh. That is why it was decided to drop Moin Khan as manager for the coming events," the source said.
The PCB decision to remove former captain Moin Khan as manager after Pakistan's historic Test win over Sri Lanka last month in Sharjah came as a big surprise to cricket community. But the source explained that Zakir Khan had been named manager for a specific reason as the PCB and the government did not want to take any chances while the national team is in Bangladesh.
Zakir, who was recently reassigned the post of Director International cricket operations which was held previously by Intikhab Alam, told reporters in Lahore that his job was not to interfere in cricket matters in the team. "My job is to ensure discipline and see that the team is comfortable and in right frame of mind to play its best cricket," he said.