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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 13:40 GMT 14:40 UK
Bob Woolmer Q&A
Interview by Scott Heinrich

Bob Woolmer has been appointed coach of Pakistan following Javed Miandad's controversial sacking.

Bob Woolmer
Woolmer has formerly coached South Africa and Warwickshire

Woolmer, 56, is regarded as one of the world's leading tutors, having been in charge of South Africa from 1994-1999 and more recently having headed the International Cricket Council's high performance initiative.

Here, the former England Test batsman tells BBC Sport he has rediscovered his hunger to take on one of the toughest jobs in the game.

What inspired you to accept the Pakistan Cricket Board's offer?

The PCB sat down with me some time ago and were keen to get my ideas on what a coach should do and be.

I gave them my views and a small presentation, and later on they asked if I would be interested in a job.

Over a period of two-to-three months we came to a conclusion. I was impressed by their desire to take the team to a new era. That's not to say Javed didn't do a good job, but they really want to move forward.

These opportunities don't come along too often in life and I decided I'd like to take this one. All coaches need to look at coaching in different environments at different levels.

I've become more excited the more I've thought about it.


You turned down the Sri Lanka job last year and were in talks to take over at the West Indies. Why Pakistan and why now?

I would be lying if I said the financial offer wasn't attractive, but I just looked at what I was doing with my cricketing life and suddenly thought that at 60 I wouldn't be able to do this.

Maybe I should have taken the opportunities that were on offer earlier, but I wasn't thinking at the time the way I am now.

I discussed it at length with my wife, my two children, the dog and the cat. The time is right and it's a real challenge.


Have you missed coaching since leaving Warwickshire after the 2002 county season?

I have missed the day-to-day aspect of coaching. Working with the ICC high performance program and working in the UAE was an illuminating experience.

PCB president Ramiz Raja and chairman Shahryar Khan
It's important I communicate not just with the players but with the board as well
Bob Woolmer

I've realised I have still got things to offer as a coach. I have over 36 years of experience and I'd like to pass that on to Pakistan.


The climate in Pakistan cricket is as turbulent as ever right now, with the fall-out of the defeat to India still being felt. Does this enhance your sense of challenge?

That seems to be the common perception, but my perception is that they are doing things pretty well right now.

The most important thing right now is to get all of Pakistan behind the team, and that includes ex-coaches and the critics.

We don't need to worry about what has happened in the past, but we need to learn from it and try not to repeat the errors.

Everyone has to get on the bus and go in the same direction.


The PCB is not averse to interefering, and certainly past coaches have complained of this. How do you plan to handle the board?

I think it's important I communicate not just with the players but with the board as well. It's important I get their input.

Everyone has views on cricket and everyone is entitled to their views. A consensus on how to go forward has to be reached by the people who administer the game, play the game and coach the game.

I believe the coach is a conduit to that. Too often the coach is seen on one side or the other, but that's not the point. Everyone should know what everyone else is doing.


So communication is the key word?

Communication has always been the key word. It's not rocket science. The difficulty I will have is getting through to the guys who do not understand English or my sense of humour.

It's about getting the team ethic right and explaining to the people who don't think we're doing it right that this is the method we want to approach. If they like it, then we must all get on that bus.


Do you have any new ideas that you are ready to unleash on your squad?

Absolutely. I'm writing an extensive coaching book at the moment in conjuction with Dr Tim Noakes and you get enthused by that. You just want to try the things out.

But before I do anything, I must sit down with the 20-30 players Pakistan recognise as the best in the country and interact with them.

We mustn't be seen to be doing things that people aren't comfortable with, but at the same time we must put in structures that help the players - because they are the ones that count.

The key element is that the players understand where I am coming from.


SEE ALSO
Pakistan sack Miandad
16 Jun 04  |  Cricket
Woolmer set for Windies job
09 Mar 03  |  West Indies


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