Pakistan name Gary Kirsten as white-ball coach

Pakistan name Gary Kirsten as white-ball coach
All appointments have been made for a duration of two years. Photo: X@TheRealPCBMedia

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Sunday appointed World Cup-winning Gary Kirsten as their head coach for ODIs and T20Is, while former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie will take over that role in Test cricket.

Along with them, former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood was appointed as the assistant coach of the team across the formats.

"The appointment of (Gary) Kirsten and (Jason) Gillispie who are high-profile coaches shows how much value is given to the Pakistan cricket team and how much potential foreign coaches see in our players, PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi said during a media conference.

"We want to give the team the best facilities and that is why we have gone for Kirsten and Gillispie, he said.

All appointments have been made for a duration of two years, and Naqvi said the coaches will not be subjected to evaluation before their term comes to an end.

Kirsten, who is currently the mentor of IPL side Gujarat Titans, is expected to take over from Pakistan's tour of England from May 22.

Pakistan will play four T20Is and from there the team will travel for the T20 World Cup in June.

"He is presently occupied in the IPL while Gillespie will join the team before the start of our Test cricket schedule in August," Naqvi said.

Asked if Kirsten and Gillespie would be available with the Pakistan team all the time he said the coaches will mostly be with the team and take their vacations as agreed in their contracts.

"We also want their expertise to improve our domestic cricket and help our local coaches."

Mahmood, who also attended the media conference, was the interim coach in the just-concluded T20I series at home against New Zealand, said it was time the Pakistani players showed more discipline and did things out of the box.

"If we are to keep up with the changing times in cricket our players also have to do some things unconventionally and think out of the box," he said.

Pakistan have been on the search for a full-time head coach since the end of the 50-over World Cup last year where they failed to enter the knockout stages.

After their shambolic effort in the marquee event held in India, Pakistan had sacked the entire set of coaching staff head coach Grant Bradburn, team director Mickey Arthur, bowling coach Morne Morkel and batting coach Andrew Puttick.

Premier batter Babar Azam was also removed from captaincy post the ICC showpiece with Pakistan opting to appoint pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi as their white-ball leader and Shan Masood doing that duty in Tests.

Along with that, Pakistan had also turned to former cricketer Muhammad Hafeez for the guiding role during their tour to Australia.

But Hafeez lost the job after Pakistan lost 0-3 in the Test series and 1-4 in the T20Is.

While Masood was retained as Test captain, Afridi was relieved from leadership and Babar was reinstated in the last week of March.

However, Pakistan could not find a full-time head coach despite them approaching some top names such Matthew Hayden and Shane Watson.

Eventually, they zeroed in on Kirsten, who had led India to the World Cup triumph in 2011, and Gillespie, who comes with a bagful of coaching experience with English county side Sussex.

Naqvi explained the rationale behind choosing foreign names for coaching roles, and this is also the first time PCB has appointed separate foreign head coaches for different formats.

"We have maintained a balance for this. There's a lot of talent in our country. But we're not that far ahead in medical sciences which is why there are some fitness issues in our team.

"So, closing our options to get the best options from outside our country may not get us the best results for us," said Naqvi.

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