KARACHI: Azhar Mahmood has emerged as the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) preferred target for the assistant coach/bowling coach role, with the board waiting for the former all-rounder to confirm whether he can join the Pakistan team on their tour of England.
Mahmood, who has commitments with his county Surrey, served in the same capacity under Waqar Younis during the Asia Cup and World T20. The 41-year-old is the board’s first priority despite head coach Mickey Arthur preferring Mushtaq Ahmed.
The PCB has been in continuous discussions with Mahmood, as the board wants him for a long-term project with the national team.
Mahmood is representing Surrey in the Natwest T20 Blast and may be busy till August 20 if his side reaches the final, meaning that he will be unable to join the Pakistan side during the Test series.
“We’re waiting for Mahmood’s decision to let us know when he can join but as things stand, he is likely to be available for the ODIs and T20Is,” a senior PCB official told The Express Tribune. “It’s likely that Mushtaq will travel with the team as assistant/bowling coach for the Test series and then Azhar will replace him in the ODIs and T20Is.”
The ODIs against England begin on August 24 but the side also takes on Ireland in two one-dayers before that. “The board feels Azhar can help the players understand Arthur’s plan better, while he can also work with our pace attack,” added the official.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2016.