In a significant development, Mohammad Hafeez, the former Pakistan all-rounder, will take on the dual role of head coach and team director for Pakistan’s upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand. This comes after a reshuffle in the coaching staff following Babar Azam’s resignation as Pakistan captain.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to merge the roles of team director and head coach into one, and Hafeez, despite lacking prior coaching experience, will handle both responsibilities for three Test matches in Australia and five T20Is in New Zealand scheduled for December and January.
This move marks a departure from the previous arrangement where the roles of team director and head coach were kept separate. The decision was prompted by the belief that having both roles was unnecessary, especially considering that there was little distinction between them when Mickey Arthur and Grant Bradburn were both with the team.
The recent changes in Pakistan cricket unfolded rapidly, with Babar Azam resigning as captain across all three formats, leading to Shan Masood and Shaheen Afridi being appointed Test and T20I captains, respectively. Subsequently, Arthur and Bradburn saw their roles redefined, and the PCB announced Hafeez as the team director.
With Hafeez now taking on the head coaching role as well, the coaching staff’s restructuring is nearing completion. However, the position of chief selector remains vacant, with Wahab Riaz emerging as a frontrunner.
Pakistan is set to depart for Australia on November 30, with a warm-up game against the Prime Minister’s XI scheduled at the Manuka Oval from December 6 to 9. The tour includes three Tests in Australia and five T20Is in New Zealand.
The decision to entrust Hafeez with the dual responsibility indicates a bold move by the PCB as they prepare for the challenging tours ahead.