Ashraf Ali Siddiqui mentions a crucial recruitment
Pakistan Cricket Board finally announced the appointment of Grant Bradburn as Pakistan’s New cricket head coach though former head coach Mickey Arthur’s return remained a mystery. It was reported that Arthur was all set to assume duties as the national side’s consultant team director and PCB interim management committee chairman Najam Sethi was very vocal about it. It was therefore quite surprising to note that Arthur’s name was nowhere to be seen in the press release issued by the PCB that included a list of the player support personnel for Pakistan’s upcoming five-match T20 and One-day International series against New Zealand.
The statement, however, mentioned that the PCB will confirm the Pakistan team management for post-New Zealand series following the completion of the relevant recruitment processes, which are presently ongoing. Earlier the PCB advertised the vacancies for Pakistan’s team director, head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach and strength and conditioning coach as late as in the last week of March with 17 April set as the deadline. The advertisement went out only after Arthur confirmed his interest to take up the team director role and proposed names of support staff that he wanted to work with. Those names included that of Bradburn, Andrew Puttick for the batting coach position and former South African pacer Morne Morkel for the bowling coach post.
Bradburn, Puttick and Drikus Saaimon — Arthur’s choice for the strength and conditioning coach position — however, will enjoy a massive edge over their competitors for the roles with the trio being included in Pakistan’s player support personnel for the New Zealand series. It was reported that Bradburn and Puttick, being Arthur’s choices, have been given an opportunity to come to Pakistan to understand the environment, talk to the players and complete the process. The duo joins the Pakistan squad in Lahore for the side’s preparatory camp for the New Zealand games on 11 April.
It is reported that the formal procedure is highly unlikely to cause any inconvenience in the implementation of Arthur’s plans for the Pakistan unit, which will have Abdul Rehman, who served as the side’s head coach in the recent T20 series against Afghanistan, as the assistant coach for the New Zealand series. Former Pakistan pacer Umar Gul will continue his duties as the bowling coach. The squad was also joined by newly appointed team manager Rehan-ul-Haq and analyst Hassan Cheema. It is reported that the current management of PCB emphasised on modern cricketing strategies and heavily rely on data driven approach following in the footsteps of former foreign coaches. TW
Ashraf Ali Siddiqi is with electronic media