The appointment of Intikhab Alam as manager of the national cricket team for the upcoming series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is another step in the backward direction. While the other nations remain on the lookout for better personnel who could add value to the team the story seems completely different altogether in Pakistan cricket where nepotism and favoritism are the deciding factors.
By the look if things Intikhab has been brought back as manager to maintain status quo as Ijaz Butt, the man calling the shots, has blind faith in him. They needed someone to protect their interests and replacing Yawar Saeed was just an eyewash.
Ijaz Butt, the older he gets, probably feels uncomfortable with the idea of opening up things. He rather prefers to have men of his choice at the key posts who provide him all the inside information to satisfy his ego.
Be it Yawar Saeed or Intikhab Alam their duties will be the same. Disciplining the team or working on the improvement of performance in the field will hardly ever be in their agenda. After all they get paid hefty sums basically for ‘spying’ for Ijaz Butt and there’s no point in thinking toward the welfare of the team.
What Yawar Saeed did as manager Intikhab Alam could probably do better. Ijaz Butt could get comprehensive report about the activities of all the members of the squad in order to enable him to form his opinion which of the team members speak in his favour and who are opposed to his policies.
It goes to the credit of Yawar Saeed to have paved the exit of Younis Khan. The most prolific Pakistan batsman of the recent years, who was also the captain of the team, became a victim of the intrigues of the manager during the tour of Sri Lanka last year leading to the revolt against him just a few weeks later.
Let us see who’s going to be trapped by Intikhab whose record as captain was far from satisfactory with his teammates accusing him of over bowling himself against the interests of the team.
Intikhab, despite his poor record as a leader, has been a part of the management primarily because of his standout quality of being a yes-man to the establishment. His role as manager and coach in the past was as disgusting as his tenure as captain.
Intikhab has remained acceptable to all kinds of Board’s helmsmen because he never dared compromising on their interests. Be it Arif Ali Khan Abbasi or Ijaz Butt,they are fond of the ever-smiling ‘Inti’ who will never disobey his masters come what may.
Ijaz Butt has caused irreparable damage to the Pakistan cricket already and the reappointment of Intikhab as manager can be described as another nail in their coffin. It’s a hugely controversial decision because there were innumerable better candidates, having the desired administrative and managerial capacity, who could have proved asset at a stage when each and every move of the Pakistan cricketer is monitored.