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Pakistan appoint Gary Kirsten and Jason Gillespie in head coach roles
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Pakistan appoint Gary Kirsten and Jason Gillespie in head coach roles

Pakistan have appointed former South Africa batter Gary Kirsten as head coach of their men’s white-ball teams, while former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie has been appointed as their new Test head coach.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood will assist both head coaches, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have said.

“They’re both very famous coaches and their arrival gives you 100% confirmation of the trust that they have in our team’s potential,” the PCB chairman, Mohsin Naqvi, said.

“Their stellar track records precede them and I warmly welcome them to the Pakistan cricket family. Jason’s coaching career has been marked by success both at the domestic and international levels, with a focus on player development and achieving excellence in team performance.

“Gary’s coaching career has been marked by his ability to instil a winning mentality, develop young talent, and achieve success at the highest levels of the game, making him one of the most respected and sought after coaches in cricket.

“I have every confidence their expertise will guide our players to reach new heights. These high quality appointments present a remarkable opportunity for our players to glean insights from these seasoned professionals, refining their skills and fortifying their cricketing acumen.

“The PCB is unwavering in its commitment to furnish the national team with top tier resources and facilities, fostering an environment conducive to unlocking their full potential and consistently delivering stellar performances.”

Gary Kirsten was head coach of Welsh Fire in 2021.View image in fullscreen

It follows months of turmoil in Pakistani cricket with numerous changes in captaincy and among the coaching staff after they failed to reach the 50-over World Cup semi-finals last year.

Grant Bradburn left his role as head coach in January, two months after the World Cup, while Mickey Arthur also departed as team director. Former Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez stepped into both positions briefly after the team’s unsuccessful tour of Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.

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Kirsten, 56, played 286 times for South Africa across all formats and has had spells as head coach of the Proteas and India. More recently, he was in charge of Royal Challengers Bangalore and is currently with Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League. He will take up his new post when the tournament ends.

Gillespie, 49, was part of the successful Australia side of the early 2000s before moving into coaching, having held positions at Yorkshire, Sussex and South Australia. “I’m really keen for Pakistan to play our way,” Gillespie told Al Jazeera. “Let’s entertain our fans with a bit of fun and play with smiles on our faces.

“Leading the Pakistan cricket team is a big achievement for any coach, given its rich legacy and passionate fan base. I love Test cricket and being able to focus on that is something I like very much. I also love the fact that there is so much talent in Pakistan.

“I understand there will be expectation and that comes with the role. All I can do is to take it in my stride and I would not have taken on the job if I did not think I could deal with it.”

Source: theguardian.com