Peter Moores potential candidate to take over as Pakistan head coach

Former England cricketer Peter Moores is a potential candidate to take over as Pakistan’s head coach following the resignation of Misbah-ul-Haq, who stepped down on September 6 (Monday), the same day the Pakistan Cricket Board announced a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2021.

As per sources, the PCB is keen to appoint a foreign coach, and Moores, who has formerly served as England’s head coach, is being looked at as the frontrunner for the vacant post. Apart from Misbah, Pakistan team’s bowling coach Waqar Younis also stepped down, and former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, current coach of PSL champions Multan Sultans, is being considered as a potential replacement.

Pakistan is set to host New Zealand for three ODIs and five T20Is, with the series starting with the first ODI at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on September 17. The five T20Is, scheduled to be played in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on September 25, 26, 29, and October 1 and 3, will follow the ODI series.

Saqlain Mushtaq, Abdul Razzaq appointed as interim coach

For the series in question, the PCB has appointed Saqlain Mushtaq and Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches. Misbah, who recently contracted with Covid-19 during Pakistan’s tour to the West Indies and touched down in Pakistan on September 5 (Sunday), was always doubtful to be a part of the team set up for the New Zealand series, as he was required to undergo mandatory quarantine.

However, as it turns out, he stepped down as the coach on September 6 keeping in mind that he would need to spend considerable time away from family given the upcoming schedule of Pakistan cricket.

“The quarantine in Jamaica post the West Indies series provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the past 24 months as well as the schedule for international cricket ahead. Considering that I would have had to continue to spend considerable time away from my family and that too in a bio-secure environment, I have decided to step down from the role. I understand that the timing may not be ideal but I don’t think I am in the right frame of mind for the upcoming challenges and it makes sense for someone fresh to step in and take the side forward. The past 24 months have been thoroughly enjoyable and I want to thank my team and the management for their support. I wish the Pakistan cricket team best of luck in the upcoming events and will continue to support them every time they will take the field to represent Pakistan.”

Waqar, on the other hand, said, “After Misbah shared with me his decision and future plans, it was a straightforward one for me to resign as we had walked into the roles together, had worked collectively as a pair and now also step down together. Working with the Pakistan bowlers, including the youngsters, has been most satisfying as they have now started to show progress. Bio-secure environments in the past 16 months have had their impact, something we had never experienced during our playing days.”