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Saqlain likely to continue as interim head coach till T20 World Cup

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LAHORE: Former Test off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq’s appointment as Pakistan team’s interim head coach is likely to be extended till the ICC T20 World Cup being held in the UAE and Oman from Oct 17 to Nov 14.

The PCB had appointed the 44-year-old Saqlain only for the New Zealand home series which was cancelled after the visiting team left Pakistan before playing any match of the scheduled series comprising three ODIs and five T20 Internationals, due to a security alert, only received to them but they did not share with the PCB.

The PCB named Saqlain and former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq as head coach and coach, respectively soon after head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis tendered their resignations in the backdrop of change of guard at the PCB in early September when Ramiz Raja replaced Ehsan Mani as the chairman. Those resignations were immediately accepted by the then interim PCB chairman Wasim Khan, who was in charge, till the election of Ramiz as the chairman.

On Wednesday, Wasim as PCB chief executive also quit the post.

There is a report that Razzaq, 41, may not continue his role with the national team as Ramiz on the very first day after assuming the charge appointed former South African pacer Vernon Philander and ex-Australian opener Matthew Hayden on the coaching staff for the T20 World Cup.

After the final of the ongoing National T20 Cup, on Oct 13, the Pakistan squad is scheduled to leave for the UAE on Oct 14 to compete in the mega event. The green-shirts open their campaign with the match against arch-rials India on Oct 24 in Dubai.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2021

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