With West Indies already embarking the United Kingdom (UK) for their Test series against England, it looks like Pakistan are likely to travel to the UK as well later in the English summer. The tour that comprises of three Tests and three T20Is might go ahead in August-September. The details of the tour and travel are yet to be confirmed and finalised.
But with the tour highly likely, Pakistan have reinforced their coaching staff. Misbah-ul-Haq is the head coach and Waqar Younis is the bowling coach and they’ve been working with the squad for some time now. However, they’ve now added Younis Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed in the support staff for the England tour.
Younis who is Pakistan’s leading run-getter in Test cricket (10,099 runs at an average of 52.05) has been appointed as the batting coach. On the other hand, Ahmed who took 185 Test wickets has been picked as the spin bowling coach. While this is Khan’s first assignment with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ahmed was linked to the PCB for 120 days and was originally supposed to work at the NCA.
PCB’s Chief Executive Wasim Khan spoke highly about both the recruits and added their experience and the stature of the players is going to benefit the squad. “I am delighted that someone of the stature and incredible batting record of Younis Khan has agreed to join the Pakistan cricket set-up as national men’s team batting coach. When I spoke with him, his commitment and enthusiasm to take up this assignment and serve his country was never in doubt and he jumped at the opportunity,” Wasim Khan was quoted saying in the statement released by the PCB.
“Mushtaq knows the English conditions as well as anyone, having spent a lot of time playing county cricket and working with the England cricket team. Apart from guiding the spinners and playing a mentor’s role, Mushtaq can be helpful to Misbah in match planning and preparations,” he added.
“For me, there has never been a bigger honour and a better feeling than to represent my country and I feel privileged to have been again offered the opportunity to serve it for a challenging but exciting tour of England. The Pakistan side includes some immensely talented cricketers who have the potential to achieve greater heights. Together with Misbah-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Waqar Younis, we will try to make them better and prepare them as best as we can with on and off-field coaching and guidance,” Younis Khan said, in the same statement released by the PCB.
Younis has played quite a bit of cricket in England and has done well too. He’s scored 810 runs at an average of 50.62 in England. Moreover, he also played one season of the County Championship in 2007. He represented Yorkshire and amassed 824 runs at an average of 48.47 in that season. Hence, there’s no doubt his experience will be a huge bonus for the current Pakistan side.
“I have never been shy of sharing my experiences and knowledge, and I think this particular tour provides me with an ideal opportunity where I can spend post-training time with the players to engage with them on batting techniques, bowler assessments, mental toughness exercises besides talking them through with scenario planning,” Younis added.
Misbah was pretty thrilled to have his old teammate in the support staff and was full of praise for him. The duo played Test cricket together for almost a decade and share a great bond.
“We know each other better than most think as we have worked hand in glove in the past decade to contribute in some of Pakistan’s most historic and memorable Test wins. When I took over the captaincy during a difficult period in 2010, Younis proved to be a great ally and support, and I am confident he will provide similar assistance as we head to England with a clear objective of putting Pakistan cricket back on the road to success,” Pakistan’s chief selector and head coach Misbah was quoted saying.
“With the reputation and record Younis brings with him not only as a disciplined and hardworking batsman but also as an athletic fielder and a strategist, I see this as a great opportunity for our young players to hone their skills and learn how to make the transition from a good to a great cricketer,” the former Pakistan captain who retired along with Younis in 2017 said.
Misbah also termed that this series might be one of the most challenging ones due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Hence, there is a need for the best brains and minds to be on the park, helping the youngsters. Thus, according to Misbah, Younis and Mushtaq fit the bill perfectly. “Due to events beyond human control, the series in England will be one of the most challenging and difficult and, as such, we need to have the best talent and brains on our side. Younis, as well as Mushtaq, clearly tick all these and additional boxes, which will assist us in achieving our targets,” Misbah added.