Former all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has been appointed as the bowling coach of the national cricket team by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ahead of their tour to New Zealand beginning later this month. The Rawalpindi-born played his last International match in 2007 during the ICC Cricket World Cup, following which he featured in many T20 Leagues around the world like the Indian Premier League and the Caribbean Premier League.
As per reports, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was in talks with other candidates for the roles as per his recommendations, but it did not proceed due to availability and financial concerns. Azhar was a successful One-Day International player for the green outfit having played 143 matches and made useful contributions with the ball and the ball during the tenure.
As per the reports of the tribune.com.pk, a PCB official said regarding the former Internationals’ appointment, “Azhar’s first task will be the Test series against New Zealand. He was also to assist the team before the start of the Test series against the West Indies, but his contract wasn’t finalised then.”
Pakistan is currently playing a Test series against the West Indies in the United Arab Emirates and has already won the first two matches. The Asian team will visit down under for a match Test series, first of which is scheduled to begin on 17th November in Christchurch while the second to be played in Hamilton from 25th November.
The Misbah-ul-Haq led team was on top of the rankings in Tests for quite some time after their impressive performance during their tour to England but slipped to the second spot following India’s demolition of New Zealand last month. But the scenario is very different in the ODI rankings where Pakistan are lying at the 8th spot and are on the verge of missing out on a direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019.
Pakistan’s team management for the New Zealand tour:
|Wasim Bari||Team Manger|
|Mickey Arthur||Head Coach|
|Grant Flower||Batting Coach|
|Steve Rixon||Fielding Coach|
|Azhar Mahmood||Bowling Coach|
|Grant Luden||Fitness Coach|
|Shahid Aslam||In-charge Tour Operations|
|Lt. Col (R) Ahmed Eyaz||Security Manager|