Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis have stepped down from their respective roles, the country’s cricket board (PCB) said on Monday.
The PCB has appointed former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq and all-rounder Abdul Razzaq as interim coaches for the upcoming home series against New Zealand, while a decision on the team management for this year’s Twenty20 World Cup will be taken closer to the tournament.
“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,” Misbah said in a statement.
“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.”
Both Misbah and Waqar were assigned their roles in September 2019 and had a year left on their contracts.
Waqar added: “Working with the Pakistan bowlers … has been the 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.”
Pakistan take on New Zealand in three one-day internationals and five T20s in what will be the Kiwis’ first tour to the country in 18 years. The first ODI is in Rawalpindi on September 17.
Pakistan recall Asif and Khushdil, snub Sarfaraz for T20 WC
Pakistan recalled middle-order batsmen Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah for this year’s Twenty20 World Cup on Monday but former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed could not make the 15-member squad.
Chief selector Mohammad Wasim said they tried several players in the middle order before bringing back Asif and Khushdil for Pakistan’s bid for a second Twenty20 World Cup.
“They are the best in the available pool of middle-order batsmen and we remain confident that they will provide us solutions to our middle-order difficulties through solid performances,” he said after unveiling the Babar Azam-led team.
While Mohammad Rizwan is their preferred wicketkeeper, the selectors picked Azam Khan as the back-up stumper ignoring veteran Sarfaraz.
“Azam Khan is an aggressive and attacking batter who also keeps wickets, a combination that has earned him the selectors’ nod ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed,” Wasim explained.
Veteran left-arm pacer Wahab Riaz and former skipper Shoaib Malik were also ignored but Mohammed Hafeez, 40, was picked in the squad which will have three reserve players in Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani and Usman Qadir.
“While selecting the squad, we have tried to cover all our bases and picked several multi-tasking players,” Wasim said.
“UAE is quite familiar to us, our players regularly play there and we also host Pakistan Super League there. I’m confident this team will perform well.”
Pakistan begins their campaign with a blockbuster Super 12 stage match against arch-rivals India in Dubai on October 24.
The same team will play seven Twenty20 matches, against New Zealand and England, at home in the build-up to the World Cup.
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood.
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