In a significant move, Mohammad Hafeez, recently appointed as the Director of the Pakistan Cricket Team, is now set to assume the role of head coach as well. This development comes in the wake of a strategic reshuffling within the team hierarchy following the decision by Babar Azam to step down from his leadership role across formats.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled plans to amalgamate the positions of team director and head coach into a singular role.
As per the latest information from ESPN Cricinfo, Hafeez is slated to guide the team through three Tests in Australia and five T20Is in New Zealand during the upcoming months of December and January.
Notably, the team director position was created earlier this year with the appointment of Mickey Arthur. The rationale behind this move was to have Arthur travel with the team for specific series and tournaments, providing oversight even when he couldn’t be physically present.
In light of the recent developments, it appears that there was little discernible difference in the responsibilities of the team director and the head coach when Arthur and Bradburn held these roles simultaneously. Consequently, the PCB has opted to streamline the structure by eliminating the redundant post.
While the PCB has mentioned that the roles will be ‘reassigned,’ specific details regarding this reassignment remain unclear at this time. With Hafeez stepping into the coaching role despite lacking prior experience, it seems evident that neither Bradburn nor Arthur will accompany the team to Australia and New Zealand.
This dual responsibility marks a significant milestone for Hafeez, who assumed the position of team director amidst considerable controversy in Pakistan Cricket. The transition to coaching in Australia later this year presents a unique challenge for the former captain.
Earlier in the week, Babar Azam’s resignation as captain across formats prompted the PCB to name Shan Masood as Test captain and Shaheen Afridi as T20I captain.
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The team is scheduled to depart for Australia on November 30, with a warm-up game against the Prime Minister’s XI at the Manuka Oval from December 6 to 9, leading up to the commencement of the first Test on December 14 in Perth.