Salim Malik takes over as the Betting Coach
London: In a swift but entirely predictable turn of events, the Pakistan Cricket Board today appointed the bookie in the centre of spot-fixing storm, Mazhar Majeed, as the team’s head coach cum manager.
Mazhar Majeed, who is out on bail in the scandal after he was caught on tape (in a sting operation) accepting money to fix matches, replaces Waqar Younis who was the official coach till now.
‘The whole world knows he is a past-master in fixing things up. Pakistan cricket needs him the most now?’ a PCB spokesperson said. He, however, clarified that the position of Waqar Younis as a former Pakistan cricket player will not be taken over by Mazhar Majeed.
Spelling out the rationale behind the decision to appoint Mazhar Majeed, the PCB spokesperson said he (Mazhar) had all the requisite skills to handle a Pakistan team. ‘He enjoys the complete faith of the players, which is something you could not have said for other coaches who have tried to manage the team in the recent past. He shares a very good rapport with the captain of the day, Salman Butt. Young players like Mohd Amir too hold on to his words with utter sincerity. Even a temperamental guy like Mohd Asif understands that there is a price to pay if he oversteps.’
In short, Mazhar Majeed is what the doctor ordered for Pakistan cricket, the spokesperson said, almost sounding like Ravi Shastri for a second.
Mazhar Majeed, for his part, said his brief is simple: ‘You bet, I will be spot on. I am the one to make the players bettor.’
Meanwhile, the PCB spokesperson also revealed that as part of infusing fresh blood into the team, the Pakistan board has simultaneously appointed Intikab Alam as the assistant coach of the team. ‘He has served as the team’s coach twice before. So considering that rich experience we thought he is the right man to be the assistant coach.’
To a specific query, as to what exactly is the role of the assistant coach in the team, the spokesperson said Mazhar Majeed would take care of all the private and closed-door sessions of the team. ‘Intikab’s primary job will be to sit in the visible part of the dressing room with a laptop in front of him, looking suitably concerned, while the TV cameras focus on him when the team does badly on the field.’
Intikab Alam, who always hangs around the team dressing room doors fully aware that the Pakistan cricket is never far away from sacking him and then reappointing him almost on a hourly basis, said he would perform his role with utter seriousness even if the tour does not go ahead.
In a related development, the Pakistan cricket board revealed that it was planning a proactive Future Vision plan to help players, especially the young lads, to combat the new challenges that confront them these days.
‘It’s tough out there. The pressures on the callow, impressionable players are enormous. As the Board, it’s our responsibility to provide them with proper guidance,’ the spokesperson said and added that keeping this in mind the PCB, in a pioneering concept, has come up with the position of ‘Betting Coach’.
‘The Betting Coach will offer invaluable guidance to young players so that they are not short-changed by greedy forces out there. The Betting Coach will give plenty of tips, in more ways than one, in this regard. ’
Reflecting its sincerity in the whole matter, the PCB also named the person who will be the first Betting Coach in the world. ‘It’s Salim Malik,’ the PCB said. ‘Arguably there’s none better than him in matters of bet.’
The PCB clarified that the ban clamped on Salim Malik several years ago was no longer valid as the Pakistan sports ministry in a recent communiqué had banned all the bans both in the future and in the past.
Elsewhere, Sarfraz Nawaz, the temperamental former Pakistan pace ace, launched a blistering broadside at the PCB for appointing him as the chief selector.
Sarfraz Nawaz, who took over as the chief selector of the team yesterday, today said the PCB must have been completely out of its mind to have made him the chief selector. He added: ‘Just because I am the chief selector, the PCB cannot expect me to give up my full-time profession, which is to criticise the PCB and the composition of the Pakistan team’.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan wicket-keeper Rashid Latif today made available to the media the letter that he had written to the ICC in the 1990s itself indicating that fixing runs rampant in Pakistan cricket. ‘You need to fix an appointment even to meet the PCB chief. This shows how the rot runs deep,’ Latif explained his rationale.
In a late night development, Pakistan cricket bosses announced that their team would boycott the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in protest against Pakistan cricket team not being included in the fixtures. ‘We know cricket is not part of the Games. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t been invited. If we had been invited, we would have turned up, not play any cricket, and then leave, like New Zealand always does whenever it tours Pakistan ’ the PCB said in a press release.
(Disclaimer: This is spoof news. But you never know with Pakistan cricket)