Pakistan to hire foreign batting coach for Australia test series: Hafeez

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Team Director Muhammad Hafeez has said that he was not the batting coach of the Australia-bound Pakistan Men’s cricket team and a foreign batting coach with knowledge and experience of the Australian conditions will be announced shortly.

Addressing a press conference at the PCB headquarters Gaddafi Stadium here on Tuesday, he said the complete tour management has not yet been revealed, adding that the supplementary support staff, for better condition-based adjustments, will join the team in Australia.

Pakistan cricket team led by Shan Masood will leave for Australia in the wee hours of Thursday (December 30) and will play three test matches between December 14, 2023 and January 7, 2024.

Muhammad Hafeez further said the Chairman Management Committee of the PCB Zaka Ashraf must be credited with bringing together the former heroes of the game to perform coaching and selection jobs, adding, however, the batting coach will be picked from abroad. He said the PCB was also in the process of finalising a revised policy on league cricket participation for the PCB contractual players.

To a question, the former all-rounder Muhammad Hafeez said he was very happy with the squad’s hunger for making a difference in the unfamiliar conditions the down under, adding that the Chief Selector Wahab Riaz had picked an experienced batting line-up led by Babar Azam while the young pace battery was hoped to do well in the inhospitable Australian conditions.

“I have a gut feeling that the selected bowling line-up will give series winning performance and once you pick 20 wickets in the match, you have more chances of victory,” he said, adding the Pakistan is leaving with a positive intent as it has nothing to lose as under-dogs.

He, responding to a query, further stressed play ‘modern day’ cricket in order to make a difference in the series, adding that modern day cricket is about playing aggressive, impactful cricket. He further said the youthful cricket coaching and selection teams will ensure that Pakistan plays positive cricket in line with the needs of the modern day challenges.

Praising the team selection, the Team Director said he was pleased with the way Chief Selector Wahab Riaz had acknowledged performances in the domestic cricket and picked them for the important Australian tour.

To another question, he said Pakistan has devised its own strategy to win the series against Australia, adding that Pakistan cricket flourishes when it plays aggressive cricket and the boys have been communicated the same during the five-day training camp. “Every team has its own mantra of winning but Pakistan will not imitate any other team,” Hafeez stressed.

To a query, he dispelled the impression of any change in the Central Contracts of the Men’s cricket team, adding that the central contract binds the contracted players to take part in the FTP. He further clarified that no player will be barred from playing leagues across the globe but the duty for the country should come first. He further said the PCB will shortly make NOC policy public.

On Haris Rauf’s refusal to play test rubber against Australia, he hinted at revising the category of such player only who did not wish to play all formats but he was placed in all-format category.

Hailing services of Imad Wasim for Pakistan cricket, the Team Director said he had contacted Imad but he opted to retire from international cricket. He said he had also urged fast-bowler Muhammad Amir to come out of retirement and play domestic cricket to make himself eligible for selection in the national team, adding that Muhammad Amir said he wanted to play league cricket as he had moved on with his priorities.

On Ahmed Shahzad, he said no player will face any discrimination and merit will be the only criterion of the Zaka Ashraf -led MC, adding that the other openers Abdullah Shafique, Imamul Haq have been performing well as openers while Saim Ayub is an exciting talent and has been selected to provide his the right exposure before he is put to the test.

On accountability in the face of failure, the former all-rounder said he was straight-forward in his dealings and would accept responsibility for success or failure instead of making the captain a scape-goat.

He said the Pakistan team is take up the voyage with a positive mind-set and will do everything to win the series against Australia. On Babar Azam, he said Babar Azam was a great team man and his bonding with the Captain Shan Masood and other members was very strong and he was part of the all strategies in the dressing–room. (APP)