Pakistan brought in a new manager for its cricket team ahead of a high-profile tour of India, the first in six years, officials said.
The Pakistan Cricket Board gave no reason for replacing Haroon Rasheed with new manager Saleem Altaf but it follows Pakistan's dismal performance in Australia and alleged indiscipline by team members.
"Considering the importance of the tour we have appointed Saleem Altaf as manager and have relieved Rasheed of his duty," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan told AFP on Friday.
Altaf, who was appointed PCB director of operations last month, played 21 Tests and six one-day internationals between 1967 to 1978 as a right arm fast bowler and was also team manager during the Asia Cup in Sharjah in 1995.
"It's another big responsibility and considering the importance of the tour I will try to do my best," Altaf said.
Asad Mustafa will be the assistant manager.
Rasheed had faced criticism since Pakistan lost all three Tests and both finals of the subsequent tri-series against hosts Australia.
Discipline problems -- including an unproven rape allegation made against a Pakistani player -- were also thought to be behind the decision.
The PCB had brushed aside the sex scandal saying there was no evidence but Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf brought up the case with the PCB chief during a meeting.
"I did the job to the best of my ability. The PCB appointed me and now they have removed me, I wish good luck to the new manager and the team for the India tour," said Rasheed, who took up the job in April 2003.
"The news did hurt me when it came midway on the Australian tour, but it was denied by the PCB at that time," he said.
Pakistan's tour got the green light on Friday when the PCB agreed to play an extra one-day international in the riot-hit city of Ahmedabad instead of a proposed Test match.
The Test will now be played in Calcutta and the tour, previously scheduled to start from February 25, is likely to be delayed by three to four days.
A final tour programme was expected later Friday.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)
Copyright © 2004-2017 Micro Electronics Technology Inc., and CricketArchive