Cricket

Reports: Saqlain Mushtaq set to become Pakistan’s head coach for T20 World Cup 2021

Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

In what can be called a significant development, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is set to appoint Saqlain Mushtaq as Pakistan’s head coach for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2020. The legendary off-spinner currently serves as the Head of International Player Development at the National High Performance Centre. However, he’s all but likely to take an even more significant role in Pakistan cricket.

Mushtaq was even supposed to lead the coaching staff Pakistan’s home series against New Zealand. However, the visiting team abandoned the tour due to security concerns. This means the global will be Mushtaq’s maiden assignment as the head coach of the national team. With Mushtaq being one of the finest bowlers from the country and a proven coach as well, expectations would be high from him.

Saqlain Mushtaq to work alongside Matthew Hayden, Vernon Philander

Meanwhile, the major report was carried out by Cricket Pakistan. It also stated that the Pakistan team management is set to make the official announcement after getting approval from PCB chief Ramiz Raja. It must be noted that former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden and former South Africa fast bowler Vernon Philander have already been appointed batting and bowling consultants for the national side.

Hence, Pakistan’s coaching staff looks pretty formidable ahead of the gala competition. For the unversed, Misbah-ul-Haq was the national team’s previous head coach and he stepped down from the position earlier this month. Alongside him, bowling coach Waqar Younis also ended his term. Notably, Misbah’s tenure was marred with numerous controversies and it would be interesting to see how Mushtaq goes about his business.

A veteran of 208 Test wickets and 288 ODI wickets, Mushtaq was nothing but a force to reckon with during his playing days. After bidding adieu from all forms of cricket, the off-spinner became an active coach and served many teams. He has even worked with England, West Indies, and New Zealand teams as spin bowling coach/consultant. Hence, PCB would want him to groom the players well during the high-profile competition.

Meanwhile, the Babar Azam-led Pakistan team will kick-start their campaign against arch-rivals India on October 24. Although the Men in Green have blown hot and cold lately, their squad is studded with T20 stars and other teams can’t afford to take them lightly.