LAHORE: Former captain Misbah ul Haq has been appointed as the new head coach of the Pakistan cricket team in all three formats on a three-year contract, while Waqar Younis will be the team’s bowling coach.
According to a press release by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Misbah has been appointed for a three-year term and will also serve as Pakistan’s chief selector, leading Pakistan cricket with the dual key roles.
Misbah was a unanimous choice of a five-member panel that comprised former captain and manager Intikhab Alam, former cricketer and commentator Bazid Khan, Board of Governor member Asad Ali Khan, PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan and Director International Cricketer Zakir Khan following a robust recruitment process.
On the recommendation of Misbah, the cricket board also named two-time former head coach and ICC Cricket Hall of Famer Waqar Younis as bowling coach of the national side on a three-year contract.
Both the national team appointments were approved by the PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani.
The first assignment for the Misbah-Waqar combination will be the upcoming three ODI and three T20I home series against Sri Lanka, which will be played from September 27 to October 9. The duo’s first series in the World Test Championship will be in Australia when Pakistan will play in Brisbane (November 21-25 ), followed by a day/night Test in Adelaide (November 29 – December 3).
Misbah and Waqar have previously worked as a pair from May 2014 to April 2016 with the former as captain and the latter as head coach.
Earlier this month, Misbah stepped down from his post in the cricket committee and submitted his application for the post of head coach.
Misbah, Pakistan’s most successful captain, led the team in 53 Tests out of which they won 24, lost 18 and drew 11.
Ready and up for the task: Misbah
Misbah, 45, who retired from international cricket in May 2017, said, “It is very humbling for me to join a select group of some of the very best to have coached the Pakistan national sides in the past. It is an honour and more than that, a massive responsibility as we live and breathe cricket,”
“I know expectations are high, but I am absolutely ready and up for the task otherwise I would not have thrown my name in the hat for one of the most challenging and coveted roles in Pakistan cricket,” the former batsman added.
He continued, “We have some of the most talented and exciting cricketers, and I will like to help them train and prepare in such a way that they can play intelligently, smartly and fearlessly. I am aware this will require a change in the dressing room culture but if we have to compete consistently at the highest level, we have to embrace these modern day requirements.”
“We need to understand this is a performance-oriented world and only those Pakistan players have thrived in the past who have taken the pride in donning the star and crest on their chests by delivering every time they have stepped on to the field,” Misbah said. “That’s the way I have played my cricket all through my career and this will not change in my new role.”
‘No better person than Waqar Younis’
Speaking about Younis, who has been appointed as the team’s bowling coach, Misbah said, “I am excited to once again have someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Waqar Younis in my corner as a bowling coach. We have exciting young fast bowlers in our ranks and there is no better person than Waqar to transform them into modern day stars.”
“Both Waqar and I had a candid and frank discussion and we discussed and agreed on a number of things, including roles and responsibilities as well as how to take things forward,” he added.
“As I prepare to begin a new phase in my career, I want to thank my family, friends, former team-mates, the PCB and my club, departmental and franchise sides for supporting me in my journey,” Misbah added.
On the other hand, Younis was the most high-profile applicant for the post of Pakistan team’s bowling coach. The 47-year-old has previously been the team’s head coach twice in the past — the last time being from May 2014 to April 2016.
The pace-bowling legend also called the ‘Burewala Express’ claimed 373 wickets from 87 Tests and 416 scalps from 262 ODIS while representing Pakistan.