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Azhar Ali Set for Key Role in PCB, Rehan-ul-Haq to Return as Team Manager

Former Pakistan captain and Test batsman Azhar Ali is likely to be appointed to a key role in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), according to sources. Azhar, who retired from Test cricket in 2022, could be given a position in the selection committee or the high-performance centre of the PCB.

Sources said that PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi wants to utilise Azhar’s experience and expertise in the cricketing affairs of the board. Azhar, 39, had a distinguished career as a Test batsman, scoring 7,097 runs in 96 matches at an average of 42.49. He is the only Pakistan batsman to score a triple-century in a day-night Test, which he achieved against the West Indies in Dubai in 2016.

Azhar also led Pakistan in nine Tests in two stints from 2016 to 2020. He was also part of the Pakistan team that won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, before retiring from one-day internationals in 2018.

Meanwhile, sources also revealed that Rehan-ul-Haq, who served as the team manager during Najam Sethi’s tenure as PCB chief, is expected to resume his duties in the same role. Rehan-ul-Haq has been associated with the Pakistan Super League franchise Islamabad United since its inception in 2015. He is also the general manager of sister franchises Hong Kong Island United and Vancouver Knights.

“Rehan-ul-Haq will soon take over his duties in the Pakistan team,” sources said. Rehan-ul-Haq is known for his professionalism and discipline, and has a good rapport with the players and the coaching staff.

The PCB is undergoing a major overhaul in its management and coaching structure, ahead of the upcoming white-ball series against New Zealand.

The PCB is expected to make a decision on the head coach soon, as the current coaching staff’s contracts will expire after the PSL. The PCB had transferred Mickey Arthur, Grant Bradburn, and Andrew Puttick to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Lahore in November 2023, but they left their roles in January this year.

As per sources, former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson is one of the frontrunners for the position. The PCB is also interested in hiring Sir Vivian Richards, the legendary West Indian batsman, as a mentor for the Pakistan team. Richards, who is currently working as a batting consultant for Quetta Gladiators, has praised the PSL for nurturing young Pakistani talent and expressed his willingness to help the national team.

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