Azhar Mahmood appointed as Pakistan’s head coach for T20I series

In a significant move, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed former all-rounder Azhar Mahmood as the head coach for the forthcoming series against New Zealand. The Men in Green will play a five-match T20I series against the Kiwis in Rawalpindi and Lahore, with the first game slated to be contested on April 18.

In addition to that, Wahab Riaz has been named as the senior team manager and the management is expecting that he will provide valuable leadership and support to the team with his experience. Joining them Mohammad Yousuf will take up the role of batting coach while former spin maestro Saeed Ajmal was named as spin bowling coach.

Mahmood’s tenure as Pakistan’s head coach is slated only for the forthcoming series against the Black Caps. The 49-year-old formerly held the position of bowling coach for the Pakistan national team from 2016 to 2019. He has also served as the bowling coach of two franchises in the Pakistan Super League- Karachi Kings and Multan Sultans while in 2021, he took up the role of Islamabad United’s head coach.

He brings a wealth of experience to the role of head coach, having represented Pakistan in 164 games, picking 162 wickets and accumulating 2,421 runs. Meanwhile, Pakistan had been actively seeking a permanent head coach, with Australian legend Shane Watson briefly considered. The team has been without a full-time coach since Grant Bradburn’s departure, along with Micky Arthur, who previously held the position of Director of Cricket.

Notably, the announcement of the coaching staff precedes the squad announcement for the series against New Zealand, which serves as a dress rehearsal for the eagerly awaited ICC T20 World Cup 2024. The Pakistan squad is set to be revealed on Tuesday, April 9, at the Gaddafi Stadium’s media conference room.

Full list of Pakistan coaching staff: Wahab Riaz (senior team manager), Mansoor Rana (team manager), Azhar Mahmood (head coach), Mohammad Yousuf (batting coach), Saeed Ajmal (spin bowling coach), Aftab Khan (field coach), Cliffe Deacon (physiotherapist), Drikus Saiman (strength and conditioning coach), Talha Butt (analyst), Irtiza Komail (security manager), Raza Kitchlew (media and digital manager), Zain Maqsood (videographer), Dr Khurram Sarwar (doctor), and Mohammad Imran (masseur)