Waqar Younis, former Pakistani right arm fast bowler and widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time has been selected as the Coach of the Ruhuna Royals team playing the Sri Lanka Premier League in August 2012.
Younis holds the record for the youngest Pakistani Test captain and the third youngest Test captain in history (22 years 15 days) and has played 87 Tests and 262 One Day Internationals (ODIs) matches for Pakistan during his international cricket career from1989 to 2003.
During his 14-year career, Younis took 373 test wickets, 416 one-day wickets and 956 first class wickets.
After his departure from the playing field, Younis has actively been involved in developing the game with several coaching stints internationally.
Commenting on the composition of the Ruhuna Royals, Younis added “Looking at the team I think it’s fairly balanced – we’ve got a couple of youngsters, the under 19 guys and then we’ve got the experienced guys like Ryan Harris and Jerome Taylor. I think it’s a blend of youth and of course a bit of experience and putting them together will be a great learning curve for all of us. Coaching a team that comes from all around the world is a great experience, With all of this, I’m sure that we’re going to put up a good show. We’ve got a couple of match winners on the side and the bowling line up is pretty strong when you look at it. And the strategy is very simple – you go out there, express yourself and make sure that you deliver your goods and be positive”.
Dinmay Rawat, the Chief Operations Officer of Ruhuna Royals franchise said “We believed that getting the best support staff was paramount to the success of the team. Waqar’s experience in the subcontinent, and his coaching experience will be key in the success of the tournament. With two very talented fast bowlers in the team, Taylor and Malinga, we believe that Waqar will be the ideal person to fine tune the match-winning talent these guys possess”.
The team has also hired former test captain Hashan Tillekaratne as the manager of the squad.
The Sri Lankan Premier League is the first occasion that a tournament of this nature and quality will feature on the domestic circuit.
On this topic Younis added “Overall, it will help Sri Lankan cricket, because we’ve seen that wherever League cricket has been played, young cricketers have blossomed and given them confidence and a lot of courage and opportunities to play with the greats of the game. I think this will do exactly the same to Sri Lankan cricket. I think it’ll help to grow as a cricketing nation and get used to T20 cricket before the world cup.”
The Sri Lankan Premier League will kick off on the 10th of August, and Ruhuna Royals will play their first match against the Nagenahira Nagas.