Pakistan have confirmed the appointment of two former players as the new fast-bowling and spin-bowling coaches.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday, 21 November confirmed that Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal will assume the roles of fast-bowling coach and spin-bowling coach respectively.
Gul and Ajmal have vast experience playing for Pakistan to go with prior coaching experience. The pacer represented Pakistan in 237 matches, picking up 427 wickets across formats.
Before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, he served as the bowling coach for Pakistan in the T20I series against Afghanistan as well as the home series against New Zealand. He also had a stint as the bowling coach of Afghanistan during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
Ajmal wreaked havoc with his spin during his playing career, accounting for 447 wickets in 212 international matches. In the Pakistan Super League (PSL), he served as the spin bowling coach of Islamabad United.
Speaking on his appointment, Gul said: “I am pleased to join as the bowling coach of Pakistan team and feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to contribute to Pakistan cricket by Chairman PCB Management Committee Mr Zaka Ashraf.
“Having had previous working experience with the men’s side, I will bring my coaching expertise with the aim of elevating Pakistan’s bowling prowess to new heights.”
Ajmal too was elated about his new role. He said: “I am truly honoured and grateful for the opportunity provided by Chairman PCB Management Committee Mr Zaka Ashraf to serve as the spin bowling coach.
“I am delighted to contribute to the development of spin bowling talent within the Pakistan national team. I believe my career and coaching experience will help enhance the spin bowling arsenal of the team.”
The latest set of appointments sees Pakistan continue their overhaul after the 2023 World Cup which has seen Mohammad Hafeez take over as Team Director and Wahab Riaz as Chief Selector. Babar Azam too stepped away from captaincy with Shan Masood named Test captain and Shaheen Afridi the T20I captain.
All the new faces in the Pakistan men’s cricket team setup face a stiff first challenge as they embark on a tour to Australia for a three-match Test series under the 2023-25 World Test Championship umbrella.
On 20 November, Pakistan announced their 18-member squad that Masood will lead for the series. The squads saw Saim Ayub and Khurram Shahzad earn maiden Test call-ups while Faheem Ashraf made a comeback into the white-ball fray after close to a year.
One of the notable absentees was Haris Rauf, who had a dismal World Cup campaign where he took the unwanted record for most runs conceded in a single tournament.
The three-match series commences on 14 December in Perth before the action moves to Melbourne for some Boxing Day action. The final Test will be played in the New Year at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 3 January.