Yasir Arafat named Pakistan’s high-performance coach for New Zealand T20Is

Yasir Arafat is set to join the Pakistan squad as the high-performance coach for the upcoming five-match T20I series against New Zealand in January. He comes in as a replacement for Simon Helmot, the current high-performance coach, who is out due to personal commitments.

The decision to bring in Arafat was made relatively late by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), and he will directly join the team’s T20I specialists in New Zealand. Arafat’s assignment with the national side, for now, is solely for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

Having coaching experience in both New Zealand and England, the 41-year-old and a former Pakistan cricketer with 27 international appearances, including 13 T20Is, was part of Pakistan’s triumphant 2009 T20 World Cup squad, despite featuring in just one game during the tournament.

Pakistan interim changes amidst structural turnaround

The alteration in coaching personnel marked another change since Mohammad Hafeez took on the role of team director and head coach for Pakistan’s Australian tour, succeeding Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn. While Arthur and Bradburn remain on the PCB’s roster, they did not travel to Australia and are yet to be assigned new roles within the setup.

Post Hafeez’s appointment, other temporary coaching additions included Umar Gul as the fast-bowling coach, Saeed Ajmal as the spin-bowling coach, Adam Hollioake as the batting coach, and Helmot as the high-performance coach. The appointments were short-term due to the interim status of the PCB setup, pending formal elections. The interim setup lacks the authority to make long-term appointments.

The changes in coaching staff indicated a transitional phase for Pakistan cricket, with the PCB currently operating under an interim structure until formal elections are conducted. The upcoming T20I series against New Zealand commences on January 12 and runs until January 21.