The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed former bowling allrounder Yasir Arafat as the new high performance coach ahead of Pakistan’s forthcoming five-match T20I tour of New Zealand.
Arafat will join Pakistan’s 17-member T20I squad for the series in Lahore soon and will travel with them to New Zealand for the series starting with the first T20I on January 12 at Eden Park in Auckland.
Arafat, 41, has decent playing experience at the international level. The Rawalpindi-born represented Pakistan in three Test matches, 11 ODIs and 13 T20Is.
He was a part of the Pakistan team led by Shoaib Malik who lost the final of the inaugural ICC World Twenty 20 to India and also played a role in helping Pakistan win the ICC World Twenty 20 in England in 2009.
Yasir will replace Simon Helmut, who is currently performing the role of Pakistan’s high performance coach in Australia, a source told the news agency PTI.
“Yasir’s appointment came about on the recommendation of the national team’s director Muhammad Hafeez who is calling the shots in Australia even above captain, Shah Masood,” the source was quoted as saying by PTI.
Notably, Pakistan’s forthcoming tour of New Zealand holds plenty of significance for numerous reasons. It will mark the beginning of Shaheen Shah Afridi’s T20I captaincy career. Shaheen has been fairly impressive in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as captain of Lahore Qalandars.
In addition to that, the tour will serve as a preparatory series for the 2009 T20 World Cup winners ahead of the eagerly awaited ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024.
Pakistan’s T20I squad for the New Zealand series:
Shaheen Shah Afridi (c), Aamer Jamal, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haseebullah Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim, Sahibzada Farhan, Saim Ayub, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan
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