Pakistan New Coach: PCB eye ex-Indian coach Gary Kirsten, despite Mushtaq magic at T20 World Cup

Pakistan Cricket Board are eyeing Gary Kirsten to become the team’s next head coach taking over from Misbah-ul-Haq. Misbah and bowling coach Waqar Younis had resigned in the lead up to the ongoing T20 World Cup, which coincided with Ramiz Raja’s election as PCB chief. Saqlain Mushtaq has taken over on an interim basis, and the Men in green have gotten off to a flyer, with stellar wins over India and New Zealand in the T20 World Cup.

As per reports, PCB are keen to appoint Gary Kirsten as their new head coach after Misbah-ul-Haq’s departure earlier this year. Former Australian batsman Simon Katich and Peter Moores are also believed to be on the shortlist, ut the latter is likely to settle for a Pakistan Super League assignment. Kirsten famously coached the Indian team which won the World Cup at home in 2011, beating a Misbah-ul-Haq led Pakistan side in the semi-final.

He later coached South Africa, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Hobart Hurricanes and was linked to the job at Karachi Kings following the death of Dean Jones. Katich has previously coached IPL franchises Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, while Peter Moores has been two-time England’s head coach.

In the build-up to the T20 World Cup, Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned, with PCB turning to former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq as the interim head coach for the tournament, with ex-seamer Abdul Razzaq looking after the bowling department. Along with Matthew Hayden as batting coach, the backroom staff has worked wonders, helping the team almost seal their quarter-final berth with crunch wins over India and New Zealand.

Mushtaq has drilled a strong ‘play for your country’ culture in the Pakistan dressing room, with players doing their practice and pre-match warm-up sessions under their national flags, firmly planted near their training area.

Sources suggest that Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja is in favour of appointing a foreign coach on a full-time basis, although PCB needs to convince its preferred candidates for the project, as the majority of coaches these days are keener to be associated with franchise cricket because of its shorter duration.