ISLAMABAD: Believing that the head coach must lead the overall coaching strategy and function, former fast bowler and current director of cricket for Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Peshawar, Mohammad Akram, has said that the role of Pakistan team’s head coach must be elevated.
“He (coach) must lead the team’s planning, preparation and coaching staff, and take joint responsibility with the captain for the day to day performance of the team. With the captain, he is also responsible for developing the team vision and strategy and must create a high performance culture,” he wrote in his column for a prominent sports website sport360.com.
He said the national team’s head coach should work as the head coach of the National Cricket Academy, the head coaches of regions and other departments to develop strategies to improve coaching and player development across Pakistan cricket.
He suggested to separate the shorter and longer forms of the game stating that this would ensure appropriate attention and planning for each Test, ODI and T20 series or tournament. “It will ensure assistant coaches have appropriate development opportunities by keeping the same head coach”.
He also underlined the need to create a single point of accountability within Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stating that the new role should be entitled `high performance manager.’
“At present, no one person is currently accountable or has full authority for the performance of the Pakistan team. The structure of the national selection panel is sub optimal and there is a structural disconnection between Pakistan team, national cricket academy and regional cricket.”
He said while the high performance manager would ultimately be accountable for the performance of the national team, the roles of the captain, head coach and chairman of selectors would also be critical.
“The captain remains vital. He takes joint responsibility with the head coach for the day to day performance of the team. He remains the leader on field and among the playing group and is the principal spokesman for the team.
“He is responsible for working with the head coach to develop the vision and strategy for the team and must set the standard of effort, attitude and performance for his side. He must focus intensely on leadership, performance and developing a wining culture.”
Akram also proposed fast-tracking the players with the most potential. “Development plans regarding skill physiology and psychology are critical and will allow more mature conversations to take place with individuals. He said there were various areas, which needed to be improved across all levels of cricket in Pakistan, with a particular focus on the regional game, where players are developed and learn their core skills.-APP