Former Pakistan Test all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has been offered the assistant coach’s job with the national cricket squad, which is set to tour England this summer.
The Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Shaharyar Khan confirmed that Azhar had been offered the job, which would also include duties of a bowling coach.
“Azhar has agreed to take up the assignment but will confirm once he has settled some contractual obligations with his county in England,” Khan said.
Azhar’s appointment has been made after consultations with new head coach Mickey Arthur added Khan.
“Mickey Arthur had specifically asked us to appoint a Pakistani assistant coach with him as this would make it easier for him to settle down quickly in the team and also communicate and understand the players psyche better,” Khan said.
Arthur reached Lahore on Thursday after a delay to officially take charge of the squad, which is already announced for the four-Test series in England.
According to a reliable source in the PCB, Arthur had been keen to have former Test leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed as his assistant coach but the PCB said the latter couldn’t be released from his duties at the National Cricket Academy since a new Director of academies Mudassar Nazar was due to take over from June 15th.
Azhar was also appointed bowling coach on a special short-term assignment for the World T20 in India, where Pakistan faltered badly and this led to changes in the team management with head coach Waqar Younis stepping down and the national selection committee being disbanded.
Interestingly, according to the board source Azhar had also submitted his own report on the team culture and performance after the mega event and he was critical about the lack of professionalism in the team.