The PCB has made it clear to the Pakistan cricket team’s new manager Naveed Akram Cheema that maintaining discipline would be his top most responsibility during the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe.
“There will be no compromise on discipline at all and the board has made it clear that they are right behind the management in enforcing discipline and the code of conduct,” Cheema, who has replaced Intikhab Alam as the manager of the team, said.
Cheema, an experienced bureaucrat, said he was confident of managing the team well and ensuring there is no compromise on discipline.
“It’s a tough job but it’s not impossible to achieve success,” he said, while hinting that he will warn the players of strict and prompt action for any wrongdoings.
“Problems do exist but if the players are aware that there will be an instant action against them for any wrongdoings, they will avoid such acts,” he said.
Cheema, a member of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s governing board, has been appointed manager for only the Zimbabwe series but indications are that the board Chairman Ijaz Butt has enough confidence in him to retain him for future tours.
A PCB official said one of the main tasks entrusted upon Cheema was to ensure harmony and proper communication between the tour selection committee members including the captain, vice-captain and coach on foreign tours.
“The manager, who is also the head of the tour selection committee, has to ensure there are no issues at all between the team members,” the official said.
A dispute between former captain Shahid Afridi and head coach Waqar Younis on selection matters during the West Indies tour eventually led Afridi retiring from international cricket and the board appointing a new captain.
A reliable source said that Cheema had been told to make sure that the captain and coach worked in their domain and didn’t interfere in each other’s work.
“The board has got complaints about Waqar’s attitude and wants a close watch on him,” the source said.
Cheema, who was the manager of the Pakistan ‘A’ side on the tour of the West Indies last year, has also been told to ensure that the national team stays clear of any controversies in their coming series.
The PCB Chairman is also expected to have discussions with the team management, including the captain before the team leaves for Zimbabwe.
The team will leave for Zimbabwe in the last week of August and will play a two-day warm-up match against Zimbabwe XI from August 28 before the one-off Test match begins at Bulawayo on September 1.
Besides a Test, Pakistan would also play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20s.