Cricket: Misbah named Pakistan head coach, Waqar new bowling coach

Pakistan’s captain Misbah-ul-Haq speaks at a news conference at the end of their cricket test series with South Africa in Dubai October 26, 2013. REUTERS/Nikhil Monteiro/File photo

(Reuters) – Former captain Misbah-ul-Haq was named Pakistan’s head coach as well as the chief selector on a three-year contract on Wednesday with pace great Waqar Younis joining him as the team’s new bowling coach.

Misbah and Waqar have worked together in the past when the former was the Pakistan captain and the latter was the head coach.

“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,” Misbah, who scored over 10,300 international runs in 75 tests and 162 one-dayers, said in a statement.

“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.”

Misbah will wield tremendous influence in Pakistan cricket after also taking over as the chairman of selectors with head coaches of the six first-class associations sides as his fellow selectors.

On the 45-year-old’ recommendation, former captain Waqar returned to the coaching staff on a three-year contract.

“We have exciting young fast bowlers in our ranks and there is no better person than Waqar to transform them into modern day stars,” Misbah said.

“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.”

The overhaul of the backroom staff follows the Pakistan Cricket Board’s decision to not renew head coach Mickey Arthur’s contract after the team’s failure to reach the semi-finals of this year’s World Cup.

During the tournament, the PCB had promised a robust review and analysis of the side’s performances, and that of the team support personnel, over the past three years.

Last month, Misbah took charge of a national training camp ahead of the new international season.

His first assignment as the new head coach will be the limited overs home series against Sri Lanka, which will be played from Sept. 27 to Oct. 9.

Pakistan’s first series as part of the inaugural World Test Championship will be in Australia, where Pakistan will play in Brisbane (Nov. 21-25), followed by a day-night test in Adelaide (Nov. 29-Dec. 3).

Misbah, Pakistan’s most successful and longest serving test captain, retired from international cricket in 2017 after a distinguished career but played for Peshawar Zalmi in this year’s Pakistan Super League Twenty20 tournament.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)



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