In latest developments ahead of Pakistan’s tour to Zimbabwe, starting from September 1 with a Test match, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made changes in team management by axing manager Intikhab Alam and assistant coach Aaqib Javed from their respective posts.

PCB removed Intikhab Alam earlier in the week as Pakistan team manager and replaced him with Naveed Akram Cheema. Whereas, on Thursday, PCB took another bold step by removing Pakistan team’s assistant coach Aaqib Javed and didn’t announce his replacement.

Some sources have claimed that Aaqib is removed  as he was close to former captain Shahid Afridi, who is on a conditional retirement. It became difficult for Aaqib to retain his post after Afridi’s departure that too after differences with PCB.

PCB chairman Ijaz Butt, in his statement said: “Intikhab has done a commendable job as national team manager. His experience as a cricketer and cricket administrator is always a great help. As the director of  game development he is needed in Pakistan to execute the game development plans.”

PCB also removed assistant manager Shahid Aslam to replace him with Col. Wasim Ahmad as security manager. Ahmad will also give his services as an assistant manager.

There are also rumors that PCB has taken these steps in pursuit of ICC’s Pakistan Task Team (PTT) recommendations. As the PTT was not happy with such a large management personnel in Pakistan’s tours. But PCB chief Ijaz Butt denied the rumors by saying “Intikhab and assistant coach Aqib Javed were needed at the NCA to guide our youngsters, that’s why they’re not going to Zimbabwe. As far as following the recommendations of the PTT are concerned, that’s totally up to the board. Any constructive recommendation will be implemented.” [He said this to Express Tribune]

Meanwhile, Ijaz Butt has also ruled out possibility of PTT’s visit to Pakistan. A possibility of PTT’s visit emerged after PCB criticized the Task Team for not visiting the country before putting recommendations.

Team management for Zimbabwe tour:
Naveed Akram Cheema (manager), Waqar Younis (coach), Col. Wasim Ahmed (security/assistant manager), Dr Sohail Saleem (doctor-cum-physio), Saboor Ahmed (trainer), Umar Farooq (analyst), Mohammad Akhtar (masseur).