Former Pakistan batsman Mudassar Nazar took charge as the director of Pakistan’s national cricket academy on Thursday and on the very first day of his new job Mudassar has made it clear, he decided to return to this role only one thing in mind, to “fix the broken cycle of development”. Nazar had earlier served as NCA director between 2006 and 2008 before he left to join the ICC Academy as a coach, a role he was playing perfectly for the past eight years. Nazar will now 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, also being a part of the PCB’s cricket committee, told the reporters. “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 to revive this cycle and make a plan to speed up this process of development so that we can cover up the lost time.”
60-year-old Mudassar Nazar played 76 Tests and 122 ODIs from 1976 and 1989. Before he was appointed as NCA director in 2006, he was also the head coach at the academy between January 2001 and October 2002.
After the former Pakistan batsman left in 2008, a number of directors were appointed to the NCA but the academy time to time became largely defunct. The developmental phase had to be put on hold as the academy struggled to fill coaching roles for all departments.
The regional academies were also closed down due to lack of enough funds, and the Lahore terror attack in 2009, in which Sri Lankan players were injured, was obviously another huge setback for cricket in Pakistan.
“I will be reviving the NCA as it was earlier, and there is no rocket science in it,” Nazar said, while discussing his plans to correct the system. “The plan is there, as the academies will have their role from top to bottom. It will similarly 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 who trained at the NCA during Nazar’s two-year spell was fast bowler Mohammad Amir. It was Mudassar Nazar who helped the young bowler to recover from three different stress fractures to the back in the early phase of his career.
Nazar was the national coach of Pakistan in 1993 and 2001, and also coached Kenya in 2005. During his brief time with Kenyan cricket, he also acted as director of the Nairobi Cricket Academy.