PCB to Announce New Coaching Staff for Pakistan National Team

PCB to Announce New Coaching Staff for Pakistan National Team

Lahore, Pakistan – The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to announce a new set of coaches for the national team by the end of this month, covering both red and white ball formats. The board has received applications from several reputed coaches, including South Africa’s Gary Kirsten and Australia’s Jason Gillespie.

The PCB has emphasized that the appointments will be made through a due process, with all commitments being met. The last time the board followed this process was in 2019, when Misbah-ul-Haq was named head coach and chief selector. Since then, appointments have been made on a consultancy or interim basis.

This time, the PCB will only invite candidates who have applied for the coaching positions. Even Kirsten and Gillespie, who have been in direct negotiations with the board, were asked to apply through the due process.

The PCB has also set April 20 as the deadline for candidates interested in applying for assistant coach positions. Azhar Mahmood, who was recently named head coach for the New Zealand series on a consultancy basis, will also have to go through the process.

The PCB chairman, Mohsin Naqvi, has made it clear that the long-term appointments of coaches will be done through a due process. The board is expected to take time until the end of the month to reach a decision and make an announcement.

Ihsanullah Departs for UK Treatment Amid PCB Medical Controversy

Ihsanullah Departs for UK Treatment Amid PCB Medical Controversy

Pakistan’s fast-bowling sensation Ihsanullah has embarked on a journey to the United Kingdom for specialized medical treatment of a persistent elbow injury. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has assumed full responsibility for Ihsanullah’s treatment, which has been a subject of controversy.

Ihsanullah’s elbow injury dates back to April 2023, following a white-ball series against New Zealand. Initially, the PCB downplayed the severity of the injury, and the subsequent treatment, involving gym and weight work, may have aggravated the condition.

For over a year, there was a lack of official updates on Ihsanullah’s progress. However, the case gained media attention when Multan Sultans owner Ali Tareen accused the PCB of neglecting the player’s treatment. Tareen claimed that the franchise had covered a significant portion of Ihsanullah’s expenses and that he required further surgery.

PCB’s chief medical officer, Dr. Sohail Saleem, defended the board’s handling of the case, but admitted to a delay in proper diagnosis. The PCB has now secured an appointment with renowned UK-based orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Adam Watts, in collaboration with Multan Sultans.

Ihsanullah’s case has highlighted concerns about the PCB’s medical record, particularly in managing fast bowlers’ injuries. Several players and staff have expressed a lack of trust in Dr. Saleem, a situation that may intensify following Ihsanullah’s treatment.

In recent years, Pakistan has witnessed a string of lengthy injury layoffs among its fast bowlers. Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, and Khurram Shahzad have all faced significant setbacks. The PCB’s handling of these injuries has raised questions about its ability to effectively manage and rehabilitate its players.

Babar Azam Set to Reclaim Pakistan White-Ball Captaincy

Babar Azam Set to Reclaim Pakistan White-Ball Captaincy

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s brief tenure as Pakistan’s T20I captain is nearing its end, with Babar Azam set to reclaim the white-ball captaincy. PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi has offered the role to Babar, who has yet to accept.

Babar’s reluctance stems from his removal as captain across all formats following Pakistan’s disappointing 2023 ODI World Cup campaign. He has requested the PCB to appoint him captain in all three formats if he is to return.

Afridi’s leadership has come under scrutiny after Pakistan’s 4-1 T20I series loss to New Zealand and Lahore Qalandars’ dismal performance in the PSL, where they finished bottom of the table. However, Afridi may feel aggrieved, given Naqvi’s previous comments about Pakistan seeking a long-term captain.

Babar’s demand to be Test captain could put pressure on Shan Masood’s position as red-ball skipper. Masood has also led Pakistan for just one series, with the team losing all three games in Australia.

The captaincy saga highlights the PCB’s instability over the past 18 months. Multiple chief selectors and selection committees have been appointed, with Zaka Ashraf’s decision to sack Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn being the most high-profile.

The current selection committee consists of four selectors, with no chief selector. Decisions are made by vote, with 4-3 majorities carrying the day.

Pakistan’s next series, against New Zealand in April, is expected to be led by Babar. The PCB is still searching for a head coach, with Jason Gillespie and Gary Kirsten among the candidates being considered.

ECB Investigates Usman Khan's Pakistan Declaration for Contract Breach

ECB Investigates Usman Khan’s Pakistan Declaration for Contract Breach

The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) is investigating whether Usman Khan’s decision to declare his intention to play for Pakistan constitutes a breach of his contract with the UAE board. The ECB is reviewing the case to assess potential breaches of contract with the board, as well as with white-ball leagues in the UAE where Khan has played as a local player, including the ILT20 and the T10.

The outcome of the review, which ECB sources say will be finalized in the next fortnight, could have significant ramifications for Khan. He could face a ban from league cricket in the UAE, depriving him of the most lucrative cricket he has played in his career. If a breach of contract is found, it could also affect his work permit, under which he has been living in the UAE to complete the residency requirement to qualify for international cricket for the UAE. Khan still has 14 months to go before meeting this criteria.

Khan believes he has not breached any contract, claiming that his contract includes an exit clause with a 30-day notice period. He is reportedly resigned to whatever sanction the ECB imposes, but the allure of playing for Pakistan was too strong to resist when the PCB approached him after the PSL.

The PCB asked Khan if he still wished to play for Pakistan, and he responded affirmatively. On Monday, he was named in the Pakistan camp that is currently training with the Pakistan military in a PCB initiative to boost player fitness. He joined the camp on Sunday evening, and the PCB is reportedly looking to fast-track him into the Pakistan side ahead of a five-match T20I series against New Zealand next month.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo on the eve of the PSL final, Khan downplayed his chances of playing for Pakistan, emphasizing the ease of obtaining NOCs to play in leagues around the world as a UAE player and the advantages of being considered a local player in the UAE’s limited-overs leagues. However, events have moved swiftly since then.

As Khan has not yet played international cricket for either nation, a tug of war has broken out for a player who is at the peak of his prowess. The ECB’s decision to announce an immediate review indicates their unwillingness to let Khan be poached by the PCB.

For Khan, the decision comes down to the attraction of playing in major tournaments like the T20 World Cup in June, which he appears to be a shoo-in for with Pakistan, versus the lucrative nature of being a freelance T20 specialist affiliated with the UAE. While he appears to have chosen the former for now, much may depend on the outcome of the ECB’s review.

PCB Narrows Head Coach Search to Former Australia-New Zealand Star Luke Ronchi

PCB Narrows Head Coach Search to Former Australia-New Zealand Star Luke Ronchi

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has identified former Australia and New Zealand wicketkeeper-batter Luke Ronchi as its preferred candidate for the vacant head coach position. Extensive discussions have been held with the 42-year-old, who has also coached Pakistan Super League side Islamabad United.

The PCB’s search for a high-profile coach has been hampered by a lack of interest from potential candidates, many of whom are already committed to other leagues or have reservations about working in Pakistan. Ronchi, who retired from professional cricket in 2019, has since worked as a batting consultant and coach for the New Zealand team.

Sources within the PCB indicate that a contract with Ronchi is expected to be finalized in the coming days, ahead of Pakistan’s home T20 series against New Zealand in April. Ronchi has reportedly requested ironclad assurances that he will be given a sufficient time frame to work with the Pakistan team, regardless of the results.

The PCB has faced criticism in the past for its handling of foreign and local coaches, which may have contributed to the reluctance of some candidates to accept the position. PCB chief Mohsin Naqvi recently blamed the leakage of salary details and other aspects of a possible coaching contract with Shane Watson for the Australian’s withdrawal from discussions.

Despite the challenges, the PCB has begun its training camp at the Kakul army base in preparation for the T20 World Cup in June. Ronchi, who has the unique distinction of representing both Australia and New Zealand in international cricket, is seen as a potential solution to the PCB’s coaching woes.

Afridi's T20 Captaincy in Jeopardy as PCB Defers Decision

Afridi’s T20 Captaincy in Jeopardy as PCB Defers Decision

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s tenure as Pakistan’s T20 captain hangs in the balance after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Mohsin Naqvi declined to confirm his continuation in the role. Naqvi stated that the newly appointed selection committee will determine the captaincy, leaving Afridi’s future uncertain.

Afridi’s appointment in November 2023 was met with skepticism after Pakistan’s 4-1 series loss to New Zealand under his leadership. His tactical decisions were questioned, and his PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars’ disastrous campaign further fueled speculation about his suitability as captain.

Naqvi’s comments suggest that Afridi’s performance during the upcoming fitness camp in Kakul will be crucial in determining his fate. The PCB’s decision to defer a decision until after the camp provides them with additional time to evaluate his fitness and leadership abilities.

Afridi’s potential removal as captain would mark the third T20 skipper change in five months for Pakistan. Babar Azam’s resignation in November paved the way for Afridi’s appointment, but his recent struggles have cast doubt on his long-term prospects.

Naqvi emphasized the PCB’s desire for a long-term solution, indicating that Afridi’s tenure could be cut short if he fails to meet expectations. The 23-year-old’s appointment was seen as an opportunity for him to develop as a leader, but his recent performances have raised concerns about his readiness for the role.

The PCB’s decision to recall Imad Wasim from international retirement was also addressed by Naqvi. He stated that the all-rounder’s return was deemed necessary to strengthen the team ahead of the T20 World Cup. Wasim has clarified that his return is only until the end of the tournament and that he does not expect a central contract.

PCB Reinstates Haris Rauf's Central Contract After Acknowledgment of Error

PCB Reinstates Haris Rauf’s Central Contract After Acknowledgment of Error

PCB Reinstates Haris Rauf’s Central Contract After Acknowledgment of Error

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has reinstated fast bowler Haris Rauf’s central contract after he acknowledged his mistake in writing. Rauf’s contract was terminated in February due to disciplinary reasons, as he declined to participate in the Test tour of Australia, citing workload and Big Bash commitments.

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi clarified that there was a misunderstanding regarding Rauf’s decision. “After receiving his written reply, the board has decided to restore his central contract,” Naqvi stated.

In his response, Rauf expressed his unwavering commitment to playing for Pakistan and acknowledged that his viewpoint had been misunderstood. “I accept my mistake,” he wrote.

Naqvi emphasized the importance of Rauf’s fitness, noting that he sustained an injury during the Pakistan Super League (PSL). “We need to take proper care of him,” Naqvi said.

Rauf’s reinstatement comes as a relief for the PCB, which values his contributions to the national team. The fast bowler has been a key member of Pakistan’s bowling attack in recent years, showcasing his pace and wicket-taking abilities.

The PCB’s decision to reinstate Rauf’s contract is a testament to the board’s commitment to fostering a positive and productive relationship with its players. It also highlights the importance of open communication and the willingness to resolve misunderstandings.

PCB Chairman Naqvi Appointed Federal Minister, Retains PCB Role

PCB Chairman Naqvi Appointed Federal Minister, Retains PCB Role

PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi Appointed Federal Minister, Retains PCB Role

Mohsin Naqvi, the newly elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has been appointed as the Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control. This unprecedented move has raised questions about potential conflicts of interest and the impact on the governance of Pakistan cricket.

Naqvi, who was elected PCB chairman last month, has stated that he will continue to hold both positions concurrently. This is not the first time he has juggled political and cricketing responsibilities. Last month, he was serving as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab while also being elected PCB chairman.

The PCB has defended Naqvi’s dual role, arguing that it does not violate the board’s constitution. The PCB election commissioner has stated that the board’s rules prohibit a chairman from holding an “office of profit” concurrently, but Naqvi has said he will not draw a salary from his role at the Interior Ministry.

However, the dual role has raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest. Naqvi has previously stated that he does not want politics to seep into cricket, but his appointment as a federal minister could make it difficult to maintain that separation.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has historically taken a dim view of political interference in cricket, but it has only intervened sporadically. There is precedent for board chairs holding ministries elsewhere in the subcontinent, such as Sharad Pawar serving as BCCI president while also being India’s Minister for Agriculture.

The ICC has stated that it requires a complaining party to assess whether political interference has occurred at a cricket board. In the past, it has suspended Zimbabwe Cricket and Sri Lanka Cricket for brief periods due to political interference.

It remains to be seen how Naqvi’s dual role will impact the governance of Pakistan cricket. The PCB has expressed confidence that there will be no violation of its constitution, but the potential for conflicts of interest and political influence remains a concern.

PCB Chief Seeks India's Assurance for Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan

PCB Chief Seeks India’s Assurance for Champions Trophy 2025 in Pakistan

Newly appointed Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Mohsin Naqvi is set to embark on a diplomatic mission at the upcoming ICC meeting in Dubai next week. His primary objective is to secure assurances from BCCI secretary Jay Shah regarding India’s participation in the Champions Trophy 2025, scheduled to be held in Pakistan.

However, the PCB’s hopes of a swift resolution may be tempered by the fact that the tournament is still nearly a year away. The BCCI is unlikely to make any immediate commitments, given the political sensitivities surrounding India’s travel to Pakistan.

Naqvi is expected to engage in discussions with key ICC figures and Jay Shah on the matter. He will emphasize the importance of India’s participation in promoting the tournament and fostering goodwill between the two cricketing nations.

The PCB is particularly concerned about a repeat of the “Hybrid Model” used in last year’s Asia Cup, where Pakistan hosted only four games while the rest were held in Sri Lanka due to India’s reluctance to send its team to Pakistan.

Naqvi will attempt to convince the BCCI that Pakistan has made significant progress in upgrading its stadiums and security infrastructure, ensuring a safe and secure environment for visiting teams. He will also highlight the fact that Pakistan has consistently traveled to India for ICC events in recent years.

The BCCI, however, remains cautious. A source within the board stated that any decision on India’s participation in the Champions Trophy 2025 will ultimately depend on the Indian government’s clearance, which is unlikely to be granted until closer to the tournament date.

Naqvi’s efforts in Dubai will be a crucial step in building trust and laying the groundwork for India’s potential participation in the Champions Trophy 2025. However, the outcome of these discussions will likely hinge on the political climate and the Indian government’s stance on the matter.

Inzamam Slams PCB for Targeting Hafeez, Calls for Respect for Former Players

Inzamam Slams PCB for Targeting Hafeez, Calls for Respect for Former Players

Mohammad Hafeez’s removal as Pakistan’s Team Director has sparked controversy, with former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq criticizing the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for unfairly targeting former players.

Hafeez was dismissed last month following Pakistan’s poor performances in the T20 International series against New Zealand and the Test series in Australia. However, Inzamam questioned why Wahab Riaz, the chief selector, was not held accountable for the team’s failures.

“Can someone explain the reasoning behind removing Muhammad Hafeez as team director but retaining Wahab Riaz as chief selector after the Australian and New Zealand tours?” Inzamam said on a TV show. “Weren’t both appointed at the same time and given the same responsibilities?”

Inzamam also urged the PCB to show more respect to former players. He recalled an incident during his tenure as chief selector when he was allegedly disrespected by former PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf.

“The PCB Chairman no doubt is a highly respectable position, but don’t former captains and stalwarts deserve the same amount of respect from the top board officials?” Inzamam said.

Inzamam also criticized the PCB for not releasing the findings of the inquiry committee that investigated his alleged conflict of interest.

“Pakistan cricket cannot be run in this manner,” he said. “It is time the board officials also accepted responsibility for their actions.”

Inzamam added that he had never wanted to take over as chief selector before the Asia Cup last year, as the previous selection committee had already picked the squad.

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