The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is reportedly considering former cricketer Mohammad Yousuf as the interim coach for the national team during their upcoming T20I series against Afghanistan. This comes as the contracts of the team’s head coach Saqlain Mushtaq and bowling coach Shaun Tait expired in February, leaving the New Zealand series as their final assignment.
Yousuf, who currently works as the batting coach at the National High Performance Center in Lahore, has previously served as the national team’s batting coach on a series-by-series basis. With no national team management functioning currently and the process to hire a new management expected to take some time, Yousuf appears to be the only available choice for the coaching task for the three-match series against Afghanistan.
While negotiations with former coach Mickey Arthur for the head coach position are ongoing, an agreement has yet to be finalised. The PCB has reportedly discussed a proposal to have Arthur act as a consultant to the team on a time-sharing basis with Derbyshire due to his contract with the latter.
The official announcement of the entire interim team management is expected to be made in a week’s time, with the PCB likely to announce the regular team management by April 1. The process to hire a new management continues under the supervision of full-time consultant Mickey Arthur.
Yousuf’s potential appointment as the interim coach has generated mixed reactions from fans and critics alike. Some have praised the PCB for considering a former player with a wealth of experience, while others have expressed concern over Yousuf’s limited coaching experience and the need for a more experienced coach to guide the national team.
The T20I series against Afghanistan is set to take place on March 25, 27, and 29 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The series comes at a crucial time for the Pakistan cricket team, who are currently ranked fourth in the ICC T20I rankings and are looking to build momentum ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup later this year.
While the series against Afghanistan is not expected to be a major challenge for the Pakistan team, it provides an opportunity for them to fine-tune their skills and experiment with new strategies ahead of the World Cup. With the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Shaheen Afridi in fine form, Pakistan will be looking to make a strong statement and build confidence going into the World Cup.
In addition to the coaching staff, the PCB will also need to finalise the squad for the T20I series against Afghanistan. With several key players such as Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Hafeez currently recovering from injuries, the selectors will have to make some tough decisions when selecting the squad.
Overall, the appointment of Mohammad Yousuf as interim coach could prove to be a wise decision by the PCB if he is able to leverage his experience and guide the team to a successful series against Afghanistan. However, the team will need to maintain their focus and continue to work hard if they are to achieve their goals in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup.