The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed former internationals Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal as bowling coaches for the men’s national team. While Gul has been assigned as fast bowling coach, Ajmal will lead the spin unit.
Gul has been actively involved in coaching stints since retiring from all forms of cricket in 2020 after featuring in 47 Tests (163 wickets at 34.06), 130 ODIs (179 at 29.34) and 60 T20Is (85 at 16.97) between 2003 and 2016. He was appointed bowling coach of Quetta Gladiators for PSL 2021 and also worked as Afghanistan national bowling coach in 2022.
The 41-year-old then served as Pakistan’s bowling coach during a three-match T20I series against Afghanistan and the subsequent series against New Zealand at home earlier this year.
“I am pleased to join as the bowling coach of the Pakistan team and feel honored to have been given the opportunity,” Gul was quoted in a press release. “Having had previous work experience with the men’s team, I will bring my experience as a coach with the aim of elevating Pakistan’s bowling prowess to new heights.”
Former ODI No. 1 bowler Ajmal had a previous stint as bowling coach with Islamabad United and is coming from having represented Pakistan in 35 Tests (178 wickets at 28.10), 184 ODIs (184 wickets at 22.72 ) and 64 T20Is (85 wickets at 17.83). He called an end to his career in 2017 and ended with a total of 447 international wickets.
“I am delighted to contribute to the development of spin bowling talent within the Pakistan national team. I believe my career and coaching experience will help improve the team’s spin bowling arsenal,” he said.
Saeed Ajmal has picked 447 international wickets for Pakistan•AFP
The duo’s role begins with Pakistan’s Test series against Australia scheduled from December 14 to January 7, followed by the T20I series against New Zealand from January 12 to 21 next year.
Pakistan have had an overhaul of their backroom staff since failing to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup. Former Pakistan fast bowler Wahab Riaz was named the new chief selector of the senior men’s team, while that Mohammad Hafeez was appointed manager of the Pakistan men’s team. He will also serve as the team’s head coach in Australia and New Zealand.
They will also have new captains – Shan Masood in Tests and Shaheen Shah Afridi in T20Is after Babar Azam stepped down as captain after the World Cup.