Biggest task is to revive academies: Mudassar
LAHORE—Former Pakistan batsman Mudassar Nazar, who took charge as director of Pakistan’s national cricket academy on Thursday, has said that he chose to return to the role to “fix the broken cycle of development”. Nazar was NCA director between 2006 and 2008, before he quit to join the ICC Academy as a coach, a role he fulfilled for the last eight years. Nazar will head the NCA for the next three years.
“I might have been away from Pakistan cricket but, in the last eight years, I have always been the true ambassador of the NCA,” Nazar, who is also part of the PCB’s cricket committee, said. “I was approached many times in the past but it didn’t work out, but my eyes have always been here. We all know the system was made and it was broken, and now they intend to revive and I realised that now they are serious and [will] work towards development. So I am here.
“The cycle of development is very important and, due to many reasons, it easily disintegrated twice in the last 14 years, which has cost [Pakistan cricket] five to ten years. I don’t know what the reasons were. They may be financial or whatever the circumstances were, but now my biggest task is revive this cycle and make a plan to speed up this process of development so that we can cover up the lost time.”
Sixty-year-old Nazar played 76 Tests and 122 ODIs between 1976 and 1989. Before he served as NCA director in 2006, he was also a coach at the academy between January 2001 and October 2002, under the tenure of then PCB chairman Tauqir Zia. After Nazar’s departure in 2008, a number of directors were appointed to the NCA but the academy became largely defunct. The development phase was put on hold as the academy struggled to fill coaching roles for all skills. The regional academies were also gradually terminated due to lack of funds, and the Lahore terror attack in 2009, in which Sri Lankan players were injured, was another setback for cricket in the country.
“I will be reviving the NCA as it was earlier, and there is no rocket science in it,” Nazar said, about his plans to correct the system. “The plan is there, as the academies will have their role from top to bottom. It will similarly will be expanded from the NCA to the regional academies, age group [cricket] will come under development, the A team will be developed with emerging players and all the 16 regional academies will start functioning from August 1. So this cycle will be alive and running in due course.”
One of the players to train at the NCA during Nazar’s two-year stint was fast bowler Mohammad Amir and Nazar is credited with helping the bowler recover from three stress fractures to the back in the early phase of his career. Nazar coached the Pakistan team in 1993 and 2001, and was also Kenya coach in 2005. During his time with Kenyan cricket he also served as director of the Nairobi Cricket Academy.—Agencies