Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi Tuesday said batting legend Javed Miandad was expected to help the team's batsmen with their form after being persuaded by the country's cricket chief.
Pakistan’s faltering batsmen have been blamed for the team’s 29-run defeat against India in the World Cup semi-final at Mohali a week ago, leading to calls for Miandad to help them.
Pakistan’s fielding and batting sections have weakened the team’s performance at the international level and Miandad has been called on to help part-time recently.
“We are trying to persuade Miandad to help the batsmen,” Afridi told reporters. “PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) chairman Ijaz Butt has also talked to Miandad while I have also requested him to help.”
Miandad, one of Pakistan’s top batsmen, has been working as director general in the PCB but had several fall-outs with Butt, leading to his resignation and restoration twice.
The 53-year-old, who is still the highest run-getter for Pakistan with 8,832 runs in 124 Tests, helped the team in getting over their batting woes in 2009 and 2010.
However, he declined to tour with the team because of business commitments and said he does not want to interfere in head coach Waqar Younis’s job.
Afridi said the team needed Miandad’s help.
“We realise there are batting problems so we have told Miandad that the country needs him, so hopefully he will accept that role,” said Afridi.
Miandad said he was ready to help.
“I am ready to help the players whenever the need arises,” Miandad told a private television channel. “I thank PCB chairman and Afridi for calling me and requesting help.”
Pakistan is due to tour the West Indies to play a Twenty20 match, five one-dayers and two Tests later this month.
Pakistan will start the tour with a warm-up game on April 18. The Twenty20 match is scheduled for April 21 in St Lucia, followed by the one day internationals and Tests.
Afridi said two to three youngsters would be brought on the tour.
“The main aim is to groom two to three youngsters on the Caribbean tour but that doesn’t mean we want to discard the seniors, they will remain part of the team whenever required,” said Afridi, who will not be part of the Test team.
Afridi retired from Tests last year.